American Elephants


The Decline and Fall of Another Socialist Paradise by The Elephant's Child

Venezuela-food-line-Reuters

Another socialist paradise is crumbling away. This time it’s Venezuela. They have already run short of milk, flour, vegetable oil, sugar and even toilet paper. They can’t manage to even keep baby formula in the stores. Now it’s drinking water. Residents in the capital of Caracas must wait for hours in line to fill jugs of water for drinking, cooking and keeping clean. Even the 5-liter bottles the government mandates are scarce. That’s what you get —5 liters for everything. There’s very little bottled drinking water.

Drought and crumbling infrastructure are blamed, but the socialist state also owes tens of billions to international bondholders and they couldn’t pay their debts and also import bottled water. They were afraid foreign creditors would seize their oil shipments, so they elected to pay $2.8 billion in interest on their foreign debt.

Blaming a drought caused by El Niño, the state-owned water company, Hidrocapital, began rationing tap water in Caracas in May. The Table of Democratic Unity (MUD) opposition party was having none of it, noting “the lack of responsibility and improvisation with which the government acts, postponing investments, maintenance, and opportune decisions.”

The government owes over a billion dollars of debt to foreign companies that provide its medicine, operate the telephones and import the food. Things have been falling apart for some time, thousands of Venezuelans have taken to the streets to protest. and many have been killed.

When Hugo Chavez died a year ago, he left an estate of $2 billion, which seems to be typical of socialist paradises. He, at least, had some ability in management as evidenced by the size of his estate. Actually he left a mess for his even less competent successor, Nicolás Maduro. Corruption, rampant crime and  economic mismanagement are driving protesters into the streets, not to mention hunger and need.

The Diplomad summed it up clearly back in February when things began really falling apart. This brilliant former diplomat is usually spot on:

A question for us, of course, is where is the United States? Nowhere. While our incompetent Secretary of State dashes about trying to convince Assad to give up power, and the Palestinians to stop being Palestinians, and the Iranians to stop being Iranians, and to convince us that “global climate change” is the gravest threat to our security, our neighborhood is on fire. Events are now transpiring in friendly and hostile Latin American countries with little or no regard or concern for the views of Washington. For the first time in some 150 years, the United States government (not so the private sector) is essentially irrelevant to much if not most of Latin America. In essence, we have no official views of any consequence re Latin America coming out of the White House, no functioning Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at State, and no active and calming US Southern Command at the Pentagon.




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