Nicolas Maduro

How’s that socialism working out for you?

Socialism has never worked anywhere, even when there is plenty of other people’s money to spend. Eventually, the money runs out and then socialism comes crashing down.

Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves and yet it couldn’t make socialism work.

The country is collapsing under the weight of it all and the people have had enough.

Armed with an old tablecloth on which is written the words ?revocatorio ya?, or ?recall now?, 36-year-old unemployed architect Gabriela Valero will take to the streets of Caracas on Wednesday. She is part of a movement trying to force a referendum on Nicol?s Maduro?s government.

?This cloth has more need now on the streets of Caracas than in my home,? says Valero, who is growing increasingly desperate due to the country?s crumbling economy. ?I am a middle-class person in a middle-class neighbourhood and we struggle to buy food. We queue for hours in a lottery for staples like corn, oil and flour, or I am forced to buy from the black market.

?When [the late president Hugo] Ch?vez was in power things weren?t great, but when Maduro stepped in everything got worse and worse. The government is becoming more and more authoritative and militarised. We, the people ofVenezuela, need to push for a change in government, and the only way is to do it peacefully through the recall referendum,? she says.

With polls showing that 80% of Venezuelans would vote against Maduro in a referendum, opponents of the country?s 17-year leftwing administration have made the recall their focus.

Medical student Astrid Escalona, 21, will be protesting against a government that she believes is doing everything it can to make the referendum impossible.

?Even though we are exhausted from attending all of the protests that have been organised we don?t give up. People are losing their patience as every day passes, becoming a time bomb. There are so many things that make our lives more difficult and if you mix them together it is almost impossible to keep going. The best outcome is to have the referendum this year. If not, there could be a social breakdown: people can no longer keep living with this.

?Just two years ago I was able to buy breakfast on my way to college almost every day. Right now I can?t do that, I have no money. My cat died because we could not find food for cats, so we gave her dog food instead and she got sick because cats can?t digest dog food,? she says.

Last month, Maduro?s opponents were dealt a blow. The National Electoral Council (CNE) set the date for the referendum too late to trigger a presidential election even in the event of Maduro losing. Under the current rules, the vice president would be sworn in and the Socialist party would continue its presidential term for another two years.

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Socialism is a great social experiment…that ends in misery

Venezuela is collapsing as their grand socialist experiment crashes and burns.

The fight for food has begun in Venezuela. On any day, in cities across this increasingly desperate nation, crowds form to sack supermarkets. Protesters take to the streets to decry the skyrocketing prices and dwindling supplies of basic goods. The wealthy improvise, some shopping online for food that arrives from Miami. Middle-class families make do with less: coffee without milk, sardines instead of beef, two daily meals instead of three. The poor are stripping mangoes off the trees and struggling to survive.

?This is savagery,? said Pedro Zaraza, a car-oil salesman who watched a mob mass on Friday outside a supermarket, where it was eventually dispersed by the army. ?The authorities are losing their grip.?

What has been a slow-motion crisis in Venezuela seems to be careening into a new, more dangerous phase. The long economic decline of the country with the world?s largest oil reserves now shows signs of morphing into a humanitarian emergency, with government mismanagement and low petroleum prices leading to widespread shortages and inflation that could surpass 700?percent this year.

When there is a power vacuum people generally die hard.

The political stakes are mounting. Exhausted by government-imposed power blackouts, spiraling crime, endless food lines, shortages of medicine and waves of looting and protest, citizens are mobilizing against their leaders. In recent days, Venezuelans lined up to add their names to a recall petition that aims to bring down the country?s president, Nicol?s Maduro, and put an end to the socialist-inspired ?revolution? ignited 17 years ago by Hugo Ch?vez.

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Stick a fork in it, Venezuela is done

Socialists always seem to forget that you need capitalism in order to pay for the socialism.

Venezuela forgot that and now they are finished.

Venezuela no longer can feed or care for its people. Yet many Americans have forgotten what socialism really is. Sen. Bernie Sanders campaigns as if Karl Marx was just another Santa Claus.

Real socialism largely disappeared decades ago. The collapse of the Soviet Union and its Eastern European satellites effectively ended the age of collectivism.

Nevertheless, oil-rich Venezuela since became a flamboyant exponent of socialism. Its travails should remind us how America?s power is built upon a prosperous economy. Prodigal spending at home and promiscuous intervention abroad are undermining our nation?s economic foundation.

Like most Latin American nations, Venezuela never enjoyed a genuine market economy. After years of misrule, Lt. Col. Hugo Chavez attempted a coup in 1992. He failed, but six years later frustrated Venezuelans elected him president, leading to his ?Bolivarian Revolution.? Before his death in 2013 he nationalized industries, provided bountiful social benefits, spent wildly on domestic and foreign ventures, turned the state oil company into a fount of political patronage, and imposed price controls. ? Read more »

How is socialism working out for Venezuela?

Socialism is touted as the answer to many of the world’s problems, ironically by socialists who live in capitalist countries.

But?what is happening in real socialist countries…like Venezuela?

Despair and violence is taking over Venezuela. The economic crisis sweeping the nation means people have to withstand widespread shortages of staple products, medicine, and food.

So when the Maduro administration began rationing electricity this week, leaving entire cities in the dark for up to 4 hours every day, discontent gave way to social unrest.

On April 26, people took to the streets in three Venezuelan states, looting stores to find food.

Maracaibo, in the western state of?Zulia, is the epicenter of thefts: on Tuesday alone, Venezuelans raided pharmacies, shopping malls, supermarkets, and even trucks with food in seven different areas of the city.

Although at least nine people were arrested, and 2,000 security officers were deployed in the state, Zulia?s Secretary of Government Giovanny Villalobos asked citizens not to leave their homes. ?There are violent people out there that can harm you,? he warned. ?? Read more »

Survivor Socialism?

Socialism still has its fans despite the fact it’s failed everywhere and every time it’s been practised.

Its adherents still cling to the myth that it serves the people and its wealthy proponents from the leafy suburbs – Kelsey, De Boni, Trotter, Mau, Campbell et al – should be sent to South America to enjoy its many benefits…Survivor Socialism perhaps ?

Venezuela?s embattled president has announced that he is to increase the price of petrol by 6,000 per cent, as the crippled country struggles to remain afloat economically and politically.

Nicolas Maduro used a rambling five hour televised address to explain the first petrol price increase in 17 years, which came into effect on Friday. Mr Maduro had little choice, with the economy spiralling towards collapse – but knows that he is taking a risk. When the Venezuelan government increased petrol prices in 1989, the Caracazo riots broke out, killing up to 3,000 people.

Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world, and still has the cheapest petrol in the world. Prices at the pump for 95 octane gasoline will rise from 0.097 bol?vars to six bol?vars (66p).

Hong Kong has the world?s most expensive petrol, at ?5.55 for a gallon. Until yesterday Venezuela charged 0.5 pence per gallon. Kuwait, the second cheapest place in the world for petrol, charges 68p a gallon, according to the monitoring site Global Petrol Prices. ? Read more »

How’s that socialist dream working out for Venezuela?

The Washington Post reports that the country with the world’s?largest known oil reserves is on the brink of economic collapse thanks?to wacky socialists.

The only?question now?is whether Venezuela’s government or economy will completely collapse first.

The key word there is “completely.” Both are well into their death throes. Indeed, Venezuela’s ruling party just lost congressional elections that gave the opposition a veto-proof majority, and it’s hard to see that getting any better for them any time soon ? or ever.

Incumbents, after all, don’t tend to do too well when, according to the International Monetary Fund, their economy shrinks 10 percent one year, an?additional?6 percent the next, and inflation explodes to 720 percent. It’s no wonder, then, that markets expect Venezuela to default on its debt in the very near future.?The country is basically bankrupt.

That’s not an easy thing to do?when you have the largest oil reserves in the world, but Venezuela has managed it.

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How’s that socialist experiment working out for Venezuela?

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How’s that socialist experiment working out for Venezuela?

Not so well according to the latest news.

Venezuela on Friday released its first economic data in more than a year Friday, showing an economy in shambles and inflation at a historic high.

The Central Bank for the first time acknowledged what analysts have long said: That annualized inflation has surged into triple digits.

The bank said the economy contracted by 7.1 percent in the 12 months ending in September 2015, and inflation reached 141.5 percent.

Ahead of the surprise data release, President Nicolas Maduro said he would declare an economic emergency giving him 60 days to unilaterally enact sweeping reforms. The decree will be debated in the newly-seated opposition congress next week. ?? Read more »

What is Christmas like in a Socialist country

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There are many in New Zealand who hanker for a hard socialist country, one where the state controls everything.

But what would Christmas look like in such a socialist country?

We don’t have to look far, Venezuela is the best example of a failed socialist paradise.

Years of socialist price controls and rock-bottom crude oil prices have left the nation of Venezuela with little money left to spend on presents, feasts, or even Christmas lights, as residents complain December feels like ?any other month? after two years of President Nicol?s Maduro.

?This year, Christmas is dead, there is not enough money,? Elise Belisario, a resident of the Caracas suburb Petare, tells Agence France-Presse (AFP). She notes there is no Christmas decor anywhere and people do not have enough money to buy presents. Some cannot even afford the basic goods needed to put together a traditional feast of roast pork and assorted sides. ? Read more »

Venezuela’s socialist paradise is turning into a nightmare

Venezuela is held up by many on the left as a socialist paradise, funded by oil profits and dogged by big spending socialist governments the place is rooted.

They can’t afford condoms, a?36-pack of Trojan condoms are going for 4,760 bolivars (about $US750) and now with oil prices plunging?people are dying in the socialist paradise for want of simple medical supplies.

Venezuela is suffering under the boot of socialism.

For Jose Perez, a Venezuelan taxi driver from Caracas, the hardest part about watching his wife die from heart failure was knowing just how easily she could have been saved.

The surgeons at the Caracas University Hospital were ready to operate on 51-year-old Carmen, but because of the shortages of medicines now ravaging Venezuela, they had no stocks of the prosthetic artery that would have saved her life.

For a day, the family enjoyed a glimmer of hope after a nationwide search uncovered one such device, but Carmen needed two and a second one was nowhere to be found. She died two days later.

It is life-and-death stories like these that illustrate the depth of the economic crisis now confronting Venezuela, a crumbling socialist-run petro-state that looks in danger of being tipped over the edge by the crunch in world oil prices.

For Venezuelans like Mr Perez and tens of thousands more awaiting medical treatment around the country, the magic realism of Hugo Chavez?s great Bolivarian socialist revolution has turned to bitter reality less than two years after the former leader?s death from cancer.

?It?s the government who is responsible for my wife?s death, not the doctors,? Mr Perez, 63, told The Telegraph last week. ?Things are very bad in this country, and they are getting worse. I feel that we are in a dictatorship. At the start I believed in Chavez, now I can?t look at him. He is in the best place now.?

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I wonder if Labour will try this social media political tactic?

Please dear Lord, I hope Trevor Mallard doesn’t cotton onto this social media trend in Venezuela and get Labour to do it.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro fancies himself something of a flower child. In an?interview?with the Guardian this week, the former bus driver and trade unionist denied accusations that he used excessive force to put down intense anti-government protests, leaving as many as 39 people dead. “We are all a little bit hippie, a little bohemian,” Maduro told the British paper, explaining that he “listened to and lived through the life of John Lennon.”

If that’s really true, Maduro should be overjoyed at the latest trend to sweep Venezuela’s protest movement: putting naked pictures of themselves up on Twitter. Posting under the hashtag#MejorDesnudosQue?(#BetterNakedThan), Maduro opponents are using the phrase as a jumping off point for criticism of the government:

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