With food, medicine, and other basic needs in desperate short supply, looting is rampant. People are eating out of garbage cans. They’re breaking into zoos to eat animals for food. There’s a food police unit that arrests people waiting in lines outside of grocery stores; lines outside bakeries are also banned. It is all part of a pernicious game the government is playing to prevent the media from seeing the failure of 21st Century Socialism—and it has failed miserably. The government has not solutions. They’re broke. There’s no more financial assistance coming from China, who decided to pull the plug on a decade-long investment in the country. And now the referendum push to recall the late Hugo Chavez’s successor, Nicolas Maduro, has been shut down. In an October 21 op-ed for The Washington Post, Francisco Toro, a blogger who operates out of Venezuela and Canada, said it’s just time to call Venezuela a full-blown dictatorship:
All this year, as they trudged through an unprecedented economic implosion, Venezuelans have been gearing up for what was meant to be the defining political event of the year: a referendum on whether to recall our increasingly loathed authoritarian president, Nicolás Maduro. The tense buildup suddenly ended Thursday as five separate (and supposedly independent, but c’mon now) lower courts approved injunctions to suspend the recall, closing down Venezuela’s last best hope for a peaceful solution to its long-running political crisis.
Even for battle-hardened Venezuelans, it all came as quite a shock. A major signature-gathering drive to officially activate the recall vote was scheduled for next week. Opposition activists were busy preparing their plans to get out their voters to sign. No one, not even the military, seemed to have been expecting this.
There’s no need to hyphenate it anymore. Venezuela is just a dictatorship.
So, with the government incapable to providing the people basic needs (hospitals are lacking basic items like gloves and soap) what should the people do? What will the military do now? Will there be a civil war? It’s a harrowing reminder of what happens when you entrust the government with too much power. Remember, the late Hugo Chavez was granted decree powers for 18 months during his presidency. Venezuelans are now suffering the perilous nature of authoritarian rule, brought on by the fact that they voted for people who espoused this notion that an all-powerful government could enact social change. All they got was starvation, looting, crime, and economic torpor.