WaPo Editorial Board Averse To Blaming Socialism For Venezuela's Stunning Collapse

Matt Vespa
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Posted: May 28, 2016 9:00 AM
WaPo Editorial Board Averse To Blaming Socialism For Venezuela's Stunning Collapse

The Washington Post’s editorial board thoroughly documented the plight of Venezuelans, noting the lack of basic supplies, medicines, and food. They note how hospitals are seeing a dramatic increase in dead and dying babies, whose care is impacted immensely by the rolling blackouts. Over 200,000 Venezuelans are living with chronic illnesses and don’t have access to the medicines they need to survive. They do note how current President Nicolas Maduro is somewhere in fantasyland, enacting a state of emergency for 60 days, and putting tanks and troops on the streets to stop a supposed American invasion.

In short, the op-ed was riddled with how the nation has devolved into a catastrophic failure, and that the political system horrifically dysfunctional:

Thus does the delusional heir of Hugo Chávez drag a country of 30 million people, with the world’s largest oil reserves, over a cliff. By most measures, Venezuela is already a failed state: Amid crippling shortages of food, medicine, power and water, every societal ailment is soaring. Inflation is headed toward 700 percent, and the murder rate is probably the world’s second-highest, after El Salvador’s. According to the New York Times, deaths of infants under a month old in public hospitals are 100 times more common than three years ago, while a coalition of nongovernmental organizations says at least 200,000 people with chronic illnesses lack the medications for them.

An April poll, reported by the Miami Herald, showed that 86 percent of Venezuelans said they bought “less” or “much less” food than they used to, while only 54 percent said they ate three times a day. No wonder there have been numerous reports of mobs sacking food warehouses, as well as dozens of instances of vigilante lynchings of suspected thieves. In one particularly horrific case reported by the Associated Press, a man was burned alive outside a Caracas supermarket for allegedly stealing the equivalent of $5.

Thanks to Mr. Maduro and the corrupt and incompetent coterie that surrounds him, this chaos is likely to grow steadily worse. The regime has refused to adopt measures that might stanch the economic hemorrhaging, such as adjusting an exchange rate system that values the dollar at a fraction of its market value. It has meanwhile pursued a scorched-earth strategy toward opposition political parties that won two-thirds of the seats in the National Assembly in December.

This month, Mr. Maduro issued a patently unconstitutional decree granting himself the power to ignore the congress and run the economy by fiat. The regime-controlled constitutional assembly has rejected every measure adopted by legislators, including an amnesty for political prisoners. Most seriously, the electoral authority is effectively refusing to respond to the opposition’s collection of 1.8 million signatures on a petition for a recall election — a recourse explicitly authorized by the constitution.

Yet, there is one thing that’s omitted by the publication: 21st Century Socialism is a disaster, and it’s led to the very problems that Venezuela is experiencing right now. Newsbusters noted the glaring omission. Yes, the nation’s budgetary apparatus was way too attached to oil prices, but allocating those funds with a hard left economic ideology was only going to bring misery the likes we are witnessing right now.

It’s got to the point where hungry Venezuelans are now sifting through trash trying to find food.