More fun news from socialist Venezuela:
- Two people are claiming victory in the election
- Blackouts are becoming even more frequent
Here we have a country where catastrophe has become the new norm. Yet, they are still finding ways to be even more eventful.
I’ve written a few articles on them before, such as my article on how many bolivars it would take to equal one American dollar. But this one will be equally enlightening.
There are two main players in the Venezuela Power Struggle:
- Maduro (the incumbent—Captain Socialism)
- Guaido (the “elected” president—Baby Socialist)
Hugo Chavez, the previous president, was the leader who first implemented socialist practices in Venezuela.
On a completely unrelated note, Venezuela was also a generally successful country prior to Hugo Chavez.
No, really. Venezuela was an oil-dependent country but an emerging-wealthy one due to the abundance of natural resources such as oil. That was until Venezuela voted in Chavez.
There are many explanations for why he got voted in, but in general it’s commonly believed that the country was corrupt, so the population voted for someone outside of their predominantly two-tiered political party. He was that one.
The other option is election fraud. Either works.
Chavez said he was not a socialist when he was running for president, however, he then followed the teaching of Fidel Castro after election (hardcore socialism, minus Stalin’s 100 Million deadeye stare).
Chavez shut down media dissent, increased government spending, violently overtook free businesses, centralized nearly everything, and took over the country’s food supplies. All of which crashed the economy and skyrocketed inflation.
Maduro came in after Chavez and continued the socialist policies that were clearly working so well. Now, the country is practically completely falling apart.
Part of this falling apart is electricity blackouts. Which is also ironic considering the country is an energy powerhouse (literally their two largest exports are electricity and crude oil). Yet, they have regular blackouts, and even had a blackout just this past week that forced significant areas in 20 out of 23 states in Venezuela to lose power.
Leaders in Venezuela realized how bad this looked and tried to say that “US cyber warfare” was the cause of the country’s blackout. Viable scapegoat, except that doesn’t make any sense considering their electrical grid is decentralized. Oh, and the fact that blackouts are common in socialist countries (See: North Korea or the USSR).
Guaido, the opposition to Maduro, claims he won the election in Venezuela.
The US and allies are backing Guaido, whereas countries like China, Russia, Cuba, and Mexico are backing Maduro. No, really. Mexico too.
Guaido wants to focus on bringing back the basics: food, water, electricity. Considering the non-stop blackouts and lack of food, that sounds like a good plan.
However, Guaido’s opposition party (Popular Will) is actually a member of the Socialist International.
Wherein the Popular Will’s manifesto includes:
“The party believes in a right to government-provided food, shelter, and education.”
“If we do not have what we need, we are not free and we cannot be free.”
“Through social investment, productive work, quality education, sustainable development, and social activism, we will construct a safer, more united, and prosperous nation, where all rights will belong to all people, with responsible and active citizens”
So, socialist round 2. But maybe a lesser socialist. That’s why I called him baby socialist above.
Granted, the right… and far-right… and centrists… and any sane person left in Venezuela has put their support behind Guaido. So hopefully that support will nudge him more toward centrism and less toward ‘Chavez on Repeat’.
But that depends on Guaido actually getting power in the first place. And it sure doesn’t look like Captain Socialism is going to be giving that up without a fight.