Welcome to Venezuela
Venezuela, home to some of South America's most incredible landscapes, rightly has a terrible image problem at the moment. Hyperinflation has led to a dramatic drop in living standards and issues with the supply of basic goods, while personal safety, particularly in Caracas, is worse than anywhere else on the continent. Thousands of its own citizens have fled the country and spread throughout South America (it's estimated more than two million have left since 2014). While visiting can be incredibly cheap because of the black-market value of the dollar/euro, safety is a serious concern.
A little history about Venezuela straight from the web page of the CIA.
Venezuela was one of three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others being Ecuador and New Granada, which became Colombia). For most of the first half of the 20th century, Venezuela was ruled by generally benevolent military strongmen who promoted the oil industry and allowed for some social reforms. Democratically elected governments have held sway since 1959. Under Hugo CHAVEZ, president from 1999 to 2013, and his hand-picked successor, President Nicolas MADURO, the executive branch has exercised increasingly authoritarian control over other branches of government. In 2016, President MADURO issued a decree to hold an election to form a "Constituent Assembly." A 30 July 2017 poll approved the formation of a 545-member Constituent Assembly and elected its delegates, empowering them to change the constitution and dismiss government institutions and officials. The US Government does not recognize the Assembly, which has generally used its powers to rule by decree rather than to reform the constitution. Simultaneously, democratic institutions continue to deteriorate, freedoms of expression and the press are curtailed, and political polarization has grown. The ruling party's economic policies have expanded the state's role in the economy through expropriations of major enterprises, strict currency exchange and price controls that discourage private sector investment and production, and overdependence on the petroleum industry for revenues, among others. Current concerns include human rights abuses, rampant violent crime, high inflation, and widespread shortages of basic consumer goods, medicine, and medical supplies.
Do not travel to Venezuela due to crime, civil unrest, poor health infrastructure, and arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens. On January 24, 2019, the Department ordered the departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees and family members due to ongoing political instability. The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Venezuela. Read the entire Travel Advisory.
Violent crime, such as homicide, armed robbery, kidnapping, and carjacking, is common. Political rallies and demonstrations occur, often with little notice. Demonstrations typically elicit a strong police and security force response that includes the use of tear gas, pepper spray, water cannons, and rubber bullets against participants and occasionally devolve into looting and vandalism.
There are shortages of food, electricity, water, medicine, and medical supplies throughout much of Venezuela. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 3 ‘Avoid Nonessential Travel’ notice on May 15, 2018 due to inadequate healthcare and the breakdown of the medical infrastructure in Venezuela. Consular access to detained U.S. citizens who also have Venezuelan nationality is severely restricted by the Venezuelan government and the U.S. Embassy may not receive access in these cases.
Ocasio-Cortez received an astounding 58 percent of the vote against the fourth most powerful Democrat in Congress – a triumph celebrated by CNN, Time magazine, The Guardian, and other gatekeepers of political opinion. She ran as the more “inclusive” candidate, dependent on small individual donations and outspent 18 to one ($3.4 million to $194,000). She embraced a strongly progressive agenda: Medicare for all, enhanced minimum wage, liberalized immigration reforms, getting money out of politics, building a green infrastructure, gun control, a “peace economy”. The campaign set out to reach those feeling disempowered, alienated, and dejected in the wake of Trump’s ascent to the White House, surpassing all expectations.
Remember when Bernie said this:
These days, the American dream is more apt to be realized in South America, in places such as Ecuador, Venezuela, and Argentina, where incomes are actually more equal today than they are in the land of Horatio Alger.
The Socialist Party of France took just 6.2 percent of the vote and fifth place. Meanwhile, English Laborer supporters are undergoing an internal crisis of deep character, the Spanish socialists struggle to maintain second place and something similar is going on in Germany and Scandinavia. Parties of the populist right, extreme left and even some liberals are rising against socialism in all its forms. The left have done worse in all the most recent free elections carried out in Latin America, with no signs of greater influence in Asia or Africa.
So, the next time a politician tells you Socialism is the answer: Remember Venezuela, France, England, Spain, Germany, Scandinavia, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. We could be next.
Alfredo Ortiz debates socialism on Laura Ingraham Fox News Show
Job Creators Network
Published on Jan 30, 2019