Venezuela appears to be on the verge of total collapse. The economy is a total disaster, with basic things like toilet paper being difficult to find. There are blackouts due to energy shortages, a workweek shortened to just two days by government fiat, and semi-regularly stocked supermarkets—the latter of which has led to a hunger crisis. Many Venezuelans have taken to eating dogs, cats and pigeons for food. So, who’s to blame? That’s the question the government is asking, instead of what is to blame. The nation has relied heavily on budgeting its uber-lefty social programs on the price of oil. Nevertheless, these are Chavistas—private business is the enemy (via Generation Opportunity):
As Venezuela’s economy continues to plummet, it was announced at the end of last month that the country’s largest food and beverage supplier, the Polar Group, would be halting the production of beer. The decision to discontinue beer production came as a result of government mismanagement, which has made barley harder and harder to obtain. As other necessities like food, medicine, and toilet paper have already been in short supply, adding beer to this list only served to escalate the civil unrest in Venezuela.
Avoiding any responsibility for the situation, President Maduro announced this weekend that there will be new policies enacted for Venezuelan businesses who have halted production, like the Polar Group. The new emergency decree would allow the government to confiscate the property of any company who has halted production during this time of economic turmoil, regardless of why they have done so. Additionally, business owners guilty of stopping production would be sent to prison.
The Polar Group’s owner, Lorenzo Mendoza, has been a vocal opponent of Maduro and his policies, which has led Maduro to accuse Mendoza of political sabotage. Though it may seem obvious that Mendoza’s decision to stop the production of beer was a direct result of the president’s economic policies, clearly Maduro does not view it in this light.
Addressing the sea of red-clad onlookers, President Maduro said Saturday, "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)."
Oh, and to boot—the country raised its minimum wage by 30 percent. Of course, that’s not the reason for the nation teetering on the precipice of disaster, but it does show that socialists have absolutely no clue what to do when they run out of money. And in Venezuela, that’s exactly what is happening; the country is so poor it doesn’t have the money to print its own currency.
On top of this, we have a health care system that has completely been destroyed. Hospitals now lack basic supplies, like soap and gloves, and dying and dead babies in the various wards is becoming a more common occurrence. It’s an absolute horror show.