Maduro Announces Emergency Measures as Socialism Collapses in Venezuela

Remember all the Hope & Change surrounding Hugo Chavez’s socialist takeover of Venezuela by mostly democratic means? The liberal elite (e.g., Tinseltown moonbats like Sean Penn, Oliver Stone, Danny Glover, Susan Sarandon, and Kevin Spacey) flocked adoringly to the collectivist strongman. Students of history knew how it would end. Under his successor, Venezuela is approaching the final chapter:

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced a sweeping crackdown Saturday under a new emergency decree, ordering the seizure of paralyzed factories, the arrest of their owners and military exercises to counter alleged foreign threats.

The embattled leftist is struggling to contain a raging economic crisis that has led to food shortages, soaring prices, riots, looting and vigilante justice, pushing Venezuela to the brink of collapse.

Predictably, Maduro blames the USA and the bourgeoisie for the fact that socialism has failed in Venezuela just like it has always failed everywhere.

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“Anyone who wants to halt (production) to sabotage the country should get out, and those who do must be handcuffed and sent to the PGV (Venezuelan General Penitentiary).”

There you have it: Big Government in a nutshell. They make it impossible to do business; then when you stop laying golden eggs for them to confiscate, they wring your neck.

The move comes after the largest food and beverage company in Venezuela, the Polar Group, halted production of beer on April 30, saying government mismanagement meant it was no longer able to import barley.

Socialism = no beer. Think about it, Bernie Sanders supporters.

Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves, but is mired in a crippling recession exacerbated by an electricity crisis that has forced the government to decree daily power cuts across most of the country, close schools on Fridays and reduce the workweek to two days for government employees.

Maduro’s decree expanded an “economic emergency” declared in January to a full-blown state of emergency.

The extent of the decree was unclear, but political analysts said it could be used to limit the right to protest, authorize preventive arrests and allow police raids without a warrant.

Coincidentally, the decree is likely to hamper efforts to remove Maduro from office.

The Atlantic has more on the spectacular socialist collapse in Venezuela:

In the last two years Venezuela has experienced the kind of implosion that hardly ever occurs in a middle-income country like it outside of war. Mortality rates are skyrocketing; one public service after another is collapsing; triple-digit inflation has left more than 70 percent of the population in poverty; an unmanageable crime wave keeps people locked indoors at night; shoppers have to stand in line for hours to buy food; babies die in large numbers for lack of simple, inexpensive medicines and equipment in hospitals, as do the elderly and those suffering from chronic illnesses.

All this must be due to the fall in oil prices, right? Wrong:

Sitting atop the world’s largest reserves of oil at the tail end of a frenzied oil boom, the government led first by Chavez and, since 2013, by Maduro, received over a trillion dollars in oil revenues over the last 17 years. It faced virtually no institutional constraints on how to spend that unprecedented bonanza. It’s true that oil prices have since fallen—a risk many people foresaw, and one that the government made no provision for—but that can hardly explain what’s happened: Venezuela’s garish implosion began well before the price of oil plummeted. Back in 2014, when oil was still trading north of $100 per barrel, Venezuelans were already facing acute shortages of basic things like bread or toiletries.

The real culprit is chavismo, the ruling philosophy named for Chavez and carried forward by Maduro, and its truly breathtaking propensity for mismanagement (the government plowed state money arbitrarily into foolish investments); institutional destruction (as Chavez and then Maduro became more authoritarian and crippled the country’s democratic institutions); nonsense policy-making (like price and currency controls); and plain thievery (as corruption has proliferated among unaccountable officials and their friends and families).

In other words, the culprit is Big Government run amok. The closer a country comes to true socialism, the more powerful, all-encompassing, and unaccountable the government, the more quickly everything collapses.

Reliance on Big Government to meet their needs has forced Venezuelans to rely instead on killing cats, dogs, and birds to stave off starvation.

The situation is so bad, even the New York Times editorial board has been denouncing the populist socialist regime. Oddly the denunciations don’t mention Bernie Sanders, who has promised to take the USA down the same path.

Putting the wrong people in charge can literally destroy a country.

On tips from Torcer, Dragon’s Lair, and R F. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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