US-Led Economic War, Not Socialism, Is Tearing Venezuela Apart

Americans have been trained by decades of Cold War propaganda to look for any confirmation that ‘socialism means poverty.’ But in the case of Venezuela and other states not governed by the free market, this cliche simply doesn’t ring true.
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    A pro-government supporter wears a T-Shirt with image of Venezuela's late President Hugo Chavez, as he waits for results during congressional elections in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015.

    A pro-government supporter wears a T-Shirt with image of Venezuela’s late President Hugo Chavez, as he waits for results during congressional elections in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015.

    WASHINGTON — (ANALYSIS) The political and economic crisis facing Venezuela is being endlessly pointed to as proof of the superiority of the free market.

    Images and portrayals of Venezuelans rioting in the streets over high food costs, empty grocery stores, medicine shortages, and overflowing garbage bins are the headlines, and the reporting points to socialism as the cause.  

    The Chicago Tribune published a Commentary piece titled: “A socialist revolution can ruin almost any country.” A headline on Reason’s Hit and Run blog proclaims: “Venezuelan socialism still a complete disaster.” The Week’s U.S. edition says: “Authoritarian socialism caused Venezuela’s collapse.”



    Indeed, corporate-owned, mainstream media advises Americans to look at the inflation and food lines in Venezuela, and then repeat to themselves clichés they heard in elementary school about how “Communism just doesn’t work.”

    In reality, millions of Venezuelans have seen their living conditions vastly improved through the Bolivarian process. The problems plaguing the Venezuelan economy are not due to some inherent fault in socialism, but to artificially low oil prices and sabotage by forces hostile to the revolution.

    Starting in 2014, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia flooded the market with cheap oil. This is not a mere business decision, but a calculated move coordinated with U.S. and Israeli foreign policy goals. Despite not just losing money, but even falling deep into debt, the Saudi monarchy continues to expand its oil production apparatus. The result has been driving the price of oil down from $110 per barrel, to $28 in the early months of this year. The goal is to weaken these opponents of Wall Street, London, and Tel Aviv, whose economies are centered around oil and natural gas exports.

    And Venezuela is one of those countries. Saudi efforts to drive down oil prices have drastically reduced Venezuela’s state budget and led to enormous consequences for the Venezuelan economy.

    At the same time, private food processing and importing corporations have launched a coordinated campaign of sabotage. This, coupled with the weakening of a vitally important state sector of the economy, has resulted in inflation and food shortages. The artificially low oil prices have left the Venezuelan state cash-starved, prompting a crisis in the funding of the social programs that were key to strengthening the United Socialist Party.

    Corruption is a big problem in Venezuela and many third-world countries. This was true prior to the Bolivarian process, as well as after Hugo Chavez launched his massive economic reforms. In situations of extreme poverty, people learn to take care of each other. People who work in government are almost expected to use their position to take care of their friends and family. Corruption is a big problem under any system, but it is much easier to tolerate in conditions of greater abundance. The problem has been magnified in Venezuela due to the drop in state revenue caused by the low oil prices and sabotage from food importers.

     

    The Bolivarian experience in Venezuela

    Americans have been trained by decades of Cold War propaganda to look for any confirmation that “socialism means poverty.” A quick, simplistic portrait of the problems currently facing Venezuela, coupled with the fact that President Nicolas Maduro describes himself as a Marxist, can certainly give them such a confirmation. However, the actual, undisputed history of socialist construction around the world, including recent decades in Venezuela, tells a completely different story.

    Hugo Chavez was elected president of Venezuela in 1999. His election was viewed as a referendum on the extreme free market policies enacted in Venezuela during the 1990s. In December, when I walked through the neighborhoods of central Caracas, Venezuelans spoke of these times with horror.

    Venezuelans told of how the privatizations mandated by the International Monetary Fund made life in Venezuela almost unlivable during the 1990s. Garbage wouldn’t be collected. Electricity would go off for weeks. Haido Ortega, a member of a local governing body in Venezuela, said: “Under previous governments we had to burn tires and go on strike just to get electricity, have the streets fixed, or get any investment.”

    Chavez took office on a platform advocating a path between capitalism and socialism. He restructured the government-owned oil company so that the profits would go into the Venezuelan state, not the pockets of Wall Street corporations. With the proceeds of Venezuela’s oil exports, Chavez funded a huge apparatus of social programs.

    After defeating an attempted coup against him in 2002, Chavez announced the goal of bringing Venezuela toward “21st Century Socialism.” Chavez quoted Marx and Lenin in his many TV addresses to the country, and mobilized the country around the goal of creating a prosperous, non-capitalist society.

    In 1998, Venezuela had only 12 public universities, today it has 32. Cuban doctors were brought to Venezuela to provide free health care in community clinics. The government provides cooking and heating gas to low-income neighborhoods, and it’s launched a literacy campaign for uneducated adults.

    During the George W. Bush administration, oil prices were the highest they had ever been. The destruction of Iraq, sanctions on Iran and Russia, strikes and turmoil in Nigeria — these events created a shortage on the international markets, driving prices up.

    Big oil revenues enabled Chavez and the United Socialist Party to bring millions of Venezuelans out of poverty. Between 1995 and 2009, poverty and unemployment in Venezuela were both cut in half.

    After the death of Chavez, Nicolas Maduro has continued the Bolivarian program. “Housing Missions” have been built across the country, providing low-income families in Venezuela with places to live. The Venezuelan government reports that over 1 million modern apartment buildings had been constructed by the end of 2015.

    The problems currently facing Venezuela started in 2014. The already growing abundance of oil due to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, was compounded by Saudi Arabia flooding the markets with cheap oil. The result: massive price drops. Despite facing a domestic fiscal crisis, Saudi Arabia continues to expand its oil production apparatus.

    The price of oil remains low, as negotiations among OPEC states are taking place in the hopes that prices can be driven back up. While American media insists the low oil prices are just the natural cycle of the market at work, it’s rather convenient for U.S. foreign policy. Russia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and the Islamic Republic of Iran all have economies centered around state-owned oil companies and oil exports, and each of these countries has suffered the sting of low oil prices.

    The leftist president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, has already been deposed due to scandal surrounding Petrobras, the state-owned oil company which is experiencing economic problems due to the falling price of oil. Although much of Brazil’s oil is for domestic consumption, it has been revealed that those who deposed her coordinated with the CIA and other forces in Washington and Wall Street, utilizing the economic fallout of low oil prices to bring down the Brazilian president.

    The son of President Ronald Reagan has argued that Obama is intentionally driving down oil prices not just to weaken the Venezuelan economy, but also to tamper the influence of Russia and Iran. Writing for Townhall in 2014, Michael Reagan bragged that his father did the same thing to hurt the Soviet Union during the 1980s:

    “Since selling oil was the source of the Kremlin’s wealth, my father got the Saudis to flood the market with cheap oil.

    Lower oil prices devalued the ruble, causing the USSR to go bankrupt, which led to perestroika and Mikhail Gorbachev and the collapse of the Soviet Empire.”

    The history of socialist construction

    Prior to the 1917 revolution, Russia was a primitive, agrarian country. By 1936, after the completion of the Five-Year Plan, it was a world industrial power, surpassing every other country on the globe in terms of steel and tractor production. The barren Soviet countryside was lit up with electricity. The children of illiterate peasants across the Soviet Union grew up to be the scientists and engineers who first conquered outer space. The planned economy of the Soviet Union drastically improved the living standards of millions of people, bringing them running water, modern housing, guaranteed employment, and free education.

    There is no contradiction between central planning and economic growth. In 1949, China had no steel industry. Today, more than half of all the world’s steel is produced in China’s government-controlled steel industry.

    Cuba has wiped out illiteracy, and Cubans enjoy one of the highest life expectancies in Latin America.

    When the Marxist-Leninist governments of Eastern Europe collapsed in the early 1990s, economists like Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University, who can be counted among capitalism’s “true believers,” predicted rapid economic growth. Since the 1990s, conditions in what George W. Bush called the “New Europe” have become far worse than under socialism. The life expectancy has decreased and infant mortality has risen. Human and drug traffickers have set up shop. In endless polls, the people of Eastern Europe repeatedly say life was better before the defeat of Communism.

    Russia’s recovery from the disaster of the 1990s has come about with the reorientation of the economy to one centered around public control of its oil and natural gas resources — much like Venezuela. The Putin government has also waged a crackdown on the small number of “oligarchs” who became wealthy after the demise of the Soviet Union. Once strong state to control the economy was re-established, Russia’s gross domestic product increased by 70 percent during the first eight years of Putin’s administration. From 2000 to 2008, poverty was cut in half, and incomes doubled.

     

    Neoliberal capitalism has failed

    It is only because these facts are simply off-limits in the American media and its discussions of socialism and capitalism that the distorted narrative about Venezuela’s current hardships are believed.

    tea_party_placard_obamafascism-001

    American media has perpetuated a cold-war induced false narrative on the nature of socialism.

    When discussing the merits of capitalism and socialism, American media usually restricts the conversation to pointing out that socialist countries in the third world have lower living standards than the United States, a country widely identified with capitalism. Without any context or fair comparison, this alone is supposed to prove the inherent superiority of U.S.-style capitalism.

    If the kind of neoliberal “free trade” advocated by U.S. corporations was the solution to global poverty, Mexico, a country long ago penetrated with the North American Free Trade Agreement, would be a shining example of development, not a mess of drug cartels and poverty. The same can be said for oil-rich countries like Nigeria, where exports are massive but the population remains in dire conditions.

    The governments of Bangladesh, Honduras, Guatemala, Indonesia, and the Philippines have done everything they can to deregulate the market and accommodate Western ”investment.” Despite the promises of neoliberal theoreticians, their populations have not seen their lives substantially improve.

    If one compares the more market-oriented economy of the U.S., not to countries in the global south attempting to develop with a planned economy, but to other Western countries with more social-democratic governments, the inferiority of the “free market” can also be revealed.

    The U.S. is rated 43 in the world in terms of life expectancy, according to the CIA World Factbook. People live longer in Germany, Britain, Spain, France, Sweden, Australia, Italy, Iceland — basically, almost every other Western country. Statistics on the rate of infant mortality say approximately the same thing. National health care services along with greater job security and economic protections render much healthier populations.

    Even as the social-democratic welfare states of Europe drift closer to the U.S. economic model with “austerity cuts,” the U.S. still lags behind them in terms of basic societal health. Western European countries with powerful unions, strong socialist and labor parties, and less punitive criminal justice systems tend to have healthier societies.

    The American perception that socialism or government intervention automatically create poverty, while a laissez faire approach unleashes limitless prosperity, is simply incorrect. Despite the current hardships, this reality is reflected in the last two decades of Venezuela’s history.

     

    A punishment vote, not a vote for capitalism

    The artificially low oil prices have left the Venezuelan state cash-starved, prompting a crisis in the funding of the social programs that were key to strengthening the United Socialist Party.

    It is odd that the mainstream press blames “socialism” for the food problems in Venezuela, when the food distributors remain in the hands of private corporations. As Venezuelan political analyst Jesus Silva told me recently: “Most food in Venezuela is imported by private companies, they ask for dollars subsidized by the government oil sales to do that; they rarely produce anything or invest their own money.”

    According to Silva, the economic sanctions imposed on Venezuela by the U.S., in addition to the oil crisis, have made it more difficult for the Venezuelan government to pay the private food importing companies in U.S. dollars. In response, the food companies are “running general sabotage.”

    “Venezuela’s economy depends on oil sales. Now that oil prices are dropping down, the challenge is to get other sources of economic income,” he explained. “Meanwhile, the opposition is garnering electoral support due to the current economic crisis.”

    When the United Socialist Party and its aligned Patriotic Pole lost control of Parliament in December, many predicted the imminent collapse of the Bolivarian government. However, months have passed and this clearly has not taken place.

    While a clear majority cast a voto castigo (“punishment vote”) in December, punishing the government for mismanaging the crisis, the Maduro administration has a solid core of socialist activists who remain loyal to the Bolivarian project. Across Venezuela, communes have been established. Leftist activists live together and work in cooperatives. Many of them are armed and organized in “Bolivarian Militias” to defend the revolution.

    Even some of the loudest critics of the Venezuelan government admit that it has greatly improved the situation in the country, despite the current hardships.

    In December, I spoke to Glen Martinez, a radio host in Caracas who voted for the opposition. He dismissed the notion that free market capitalism would ever return to Venezuela. As he explained, most of the people who voted against the United Socialist Party — himself included — are frustrated with the way the current crisis is being handled, but do not want a return to the neoliberal economic model of the 1999s.

    He said the economic reforms established during the Chavez administration would never be reversed. “We are not the same people we were before 1999,” Martinez insisted.

    The United Socialist Party is currently engaging in a massive re-orientation, hoping to sharpen its response to economic sabotage and strengthen the socialist direction of the revolution. There is also talk of massive reform in the way the government operates, in order to prevent the extreme examples of corruption and mismanagement that are causing frustration among the population.

    The climate is being intensified by a number of recent political assassinations. Tensions continue to exist on Venezuela’s border with the U.S.-aligned government of Colombia. The solid base of socialist activists is not going to let revolution be overturned, and tensions continue to rise. The Maduro and the United Socialist Party’s main task is to hold Venezuela together, and not let the country escalate into a state of civil war.

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    • No More Neos

      Capitalism is designed to benefit the capitalists – only. Worker co-ops threaten their self-tailored system. Capitalism claims to espouse empowerment of the individual, but a person has vastly more power by belonging to a worker co-op than a cog in a totalitarian-run model of business, the corporation.

    • Christopher L Banacka

      another onion website??

    • Rassah

      So explain how Norway is thriving then? This is ENTIRELY due to government setting up welfare programs based on oil revenues, after nationalizing and seizing oil assets from local and foreign companies, and then continuing to nationalize and drive business and investment out.

      • David Christian

        Norway PURCHASED the assets, not seized them. It’s called Nordic CAPITALISM for a reason kid.

    • No More Neos

      If you want further proof of neoliberal tampering, just look at what’s been done to Brazil.

      • Rassah

        Neoliberal tampering filled Basilian government with corrupt socialist politicians???

    • Enmanuel Martinez (Lema)

      this it’s just a big pile of bullshit, i’m a Venezuelan livin’ in another country because of “socialist” policies. All of this it’s the same crap that the Venezuelan government have tryied to tell to all of us during his 18 years in power. Economic war it’s impossible when you control all of the food distribution in the country, when you have expropiated all of the basic services companies, when you control all mass media, when you control all the oil production, when you have expropiated almost 50% of the national production, when you have control over all the military forces. Socialism it’s about a group people controling all the life in the country, it’s about dictatorships and intolerance to anyone who thinks different, the bolivarian revolution it’s the worst plage that could be on Venezuela.

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    • PACOBRUSSELS

      Lets not underestimate the incompetence of the Maduro Gov…

    • fchap

      Every attempt at correcting the massive inequalities caused by neoliberal capitalism has historically been sabotaged by the US. Capitalism is a religion which deems poverty a sin, and helping those in poverty an even greater sin. It is true that the strong survive but capitalism makes the strong ever stronger, it reinforces strength and power down the generations far beyond any “merit” that may have generated the original wealth. It enslaves those without power so that they can never attempt to rise up beyond a subsistence level of existence. It is the most disgusting waste of human potential and encourages the most disgusting exploitation of the planet.

      • David Christian

        Do you think the USA “sabotaged” the Venezuelan currency printer, causing 1600% hyperinflation? Why didn’t Venezuela just turn the printer off when all the money started pouring out?

        • ekaneti

          dont ask questions like that

          • David Christian

            I could ask it 1000 times, and nobody will ever respond. EVER. We all know why.

          • David Christian

            Seems silly to think that another country can “sabotage” a currency, doesn’t it?

      • Hernan Tasies

        Yep, those are the historical facts, when was the last time the US sabotaged or staged a coup against a right wing, free market, privatization-driven country in Latin America? From Arbenz to the current, it’s the US’s modus operandi.

    • Allan Elliott

      Oh, so this economic system in place in Venezuela can’t function properly without high oil prices, huh? So, basically what the author is saying is that it can’t survive when economic conditions change and more proves what happens to economies when they take on too much responsibilities and debt. Eventually, you run out of money to pay for all the goodies.

      Oil prices dropped around the world and many other countries are surviving just fine.

      Thanks Mint Press News. SMH!

      • Slam

        Most of the food in Venezuela is owned and managed by private corporations. So yes, again, capitalism.

        • Allan Elliott

          So, private corporations are hoarding ALL the food and not selling it for profit. But still are just hanging around? For what? If they’re not generating revenue then what are they doing? Maybe they’re selling to the government.

          That being said, the government nationalized most of it’s industries and most all of the distributors and retailers.

          Then there’s this:

          When hunger drew tens of thousands of Venezuelans to the streets last summer in protest, President Nicolas Maduro turned to the military to manage the country’s diminished food supply, putting generals in charge of everything from butter to rice.

          But instead of fighting hunger, the military is making money from it, an Associated Press investigation shows. That’s what grocer Jose Campos found when he ran out of pantry staples this year. In the middle of the night, he would travel to an illegal market run by the military to buy corn flour — at 100 times the government-set price.

          http://www.salon.com/2016/12/28/venezuela-military-trafficking-food-as-country-goes-hungry-2/

          • Volker Burkert

            “So, private corporations are hoarding ALL the food and not selling it for profit.”

            Yes, indeed, as we have seen with the CIA let putsch in Chile, the Chilean capitalist class opted for taken the full political power through their proxy Pinochet rather than satisfying their short term desires for profits. The same thing happened in Germany in 1933 where the ruling capitalist class traded their short term interest in profit margins by handing the political power to Hitler, who they hoped would guarantee their profit margin for 1000 years. It turned out to be just 12 years and much of the world destroyed thereafter.

            • Allan Elliott

              There’s a myth.

              As a matter of fact, it was students from the University of Chicago that went to Chile and invoked free market principles that turned Chile around and brought many out of poverty. Fact! Look it up.

            • David Christian

              The military has been in charge of food importation and distribution for over a year – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-36776991

      • Patrick Bonacoscia

        Yes the oil prices are kept artificially low, but this is rather aimed at the USA… Someone does not want USA to be independent from foreign oil.

        http://www.cnbc.com/2016/08/15/saudi-arabia-may-be-ready-to-budge-on-its-punishing-2-year-oil-price-policy.html

        https://eadaily.com/en/news/2017/04/04/getting-ready-for-a-big-war-why-dont-the-americans-want-saudi-oil

        And this has hurt Venezuela as well…

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    • I have been following Venezuela close by and before Chavez came to office. Ever since my sole critic remains that the ideologists failed on the practical side of alternative economy, diversification included. There is no news in finger pointing corruption and massive thievery only because this is popular sports on global scale. Chavez was not a bright strategist and Maduro is even worst because this kind of self centered leaders are not listening even to its advisors. But I am glad that the US got something truly similar by now with the difference that Maduro talk on behalf of birds and Trump is a twitter junky f the electronic bird. Shall we not forget that Chavez lend or gave freely main part of income to other southamerican neighbors and african countries or wherever he believed a socialist idea still up and running. Same imperialistic behavior like the others, isnt it? But in fact it is again big pity that socialist concepts being misused by cavemen and fake militants, Chavez truly missed a huge chance he did not see. This the disease of all totalitarian leaders like we are just observing with the Turk, with the Saudi Arabian, with the Israelian and freshly welcome with the king of bullying in the USA. Can we agree that ideologies are nothing but ideas and that we have to think into new ways of organizing without psychopaths everywhere?

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    • Nobody

      So I guess socialism only works if you can export oil.

      • Boris

        It works very well in Scandinavian countries.

        • Dre_loves_Trump

          If I had a nickel every time someone brought up Scandinavian countries as the prime example of socialism at work – I’d be very rich man.

          • Peter Harris

            Dumb and irrelevant comment.
            That’s all you got?

            • David Christian

              The Prime Minister of Denmark says Denmark is not socialist, but what does he know, right? http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/michel-kellygagnon/denmark-not-socialist_b_9011652.html

              • Hernan Tasies

                Bolivia’s socialist measures under Morales have brought growth and a reduction in poverty.

              • Michael Lee Harris

                Seems you actually understand economics. Means you’re in the wrong forum, dude.

              • Gaudencio

                This prime minister is a neoliberal rightwing nutcase, so ofcourse he would say that Denmark is not socialist. But compared to many other countries Denmark is more like a socialist and democratic country. And remember there are many kinds of socialism.

          • Slam

            Can anyone explain how capitalism would make Venezuela’s situation better? Can capitalism make arable soil appear from nowhere? Can capitalism remove the black markets? Can capitalism produce drinkable water?

            • David Christian

              Arable soil? Venezuela is a RAIN FOREST. They have plenty of great soil and a year round growing season, but government price controls make it unprofitable to grow food. Black markets arise because of PRICE CONTROLS, and the government controlled market not working.

              • Slam

                Food must not be profitable, it must be… eaten…

                • David Christian

                  Bankrupt farmers can’t grow food. Fertilizer costs money. Machinery costs money. Labor costs money. If you sell your produce for less than thee cost of production, then you will go bankrupt. Also, price controls cause shortages. Econ 101.

                  • Slam

                    It depends what you mean by “price control”. What kind of control? What are the rules?

                    Does the fertilizer and machinery comes from capitalist markets? If yes, then the system is polluted, because those things will be sold at a profit, whereas food cannot be sold at a profit in a proper socialist context. That’s why “mixed” systems always become defective at some point.

                    The main valid reason why food prices should be controlled is to guarantee a decent revenue to the farmer. Cut-throat prices due to competition (especially against big international food corporations) makes farmers very poor and it makes growing food an inattractive occupation.

                    • David Christian

                      Price controls are laws in Venezuela limiting the amount that can be charged for food. Bread, milk, eggs, rice, grain, meat are all price controlled items. Competition has not driven down the price, as you claim, price controls have driven down the price. It’s not profitable to grow crops, raise livestock etc., because producers are forced to sell for below the cost of production. Price controls cause shortages. Econ 101.

                      • Slam

                        Making sure the price of food is not too high for everyone to have access to it. This is a good thing.

                      • David Christian

                        Price controls cause shortages. Econ 101. If there is no profit in making food, companies simply wont make food. Now Venezuela starves. But hey, cheap prices on non-existent food, right?

                      • Slam

                        No, not economy 101, that’s off the point. You have a shortage of food when there’s not enough food for everyone. Simple as that. Or, if you export food like a dumbass. In Venezuela’s case, it’s the fault of corporations that only care about their profits and not the health of the country’s habitants. Capitalism’s fault.

                      • David Christian

                        There is no feed being exported from Venezuela kid. The only US company in the food business in Venezuela is McDonald’s. They have 4 stores in the country. Food does not magically appear. It has to be produced. It costs money to produce. If the price controls make it unprofitable, nobody will produce food. Even if they did, they would go bankrupt very quickly. Hence, no food. Price controls cause shortages. Econ 101.

                      • Slam

                        I guess you’ll have to take the Economics 101 class…

                      • David Christian

                        Please tell me what company is exporting food from venezuela. The military controls food distribution in Venezuela. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-36776991

                      • David Christian

                        Nobody is exporting any food from Venezuela kid. Venezuelan exports are 97% oil. Food does not magically appear. It has to be produced. Producing food costs money. If the price is set at below the cost of production, nobody will produce any food. If a bushel of corn cost $2 to produce, how many would you sell for $1? Selling for less than your cost will quickly lead to bankruptcy. Price controls cause shortages ECON 101.

                      • Hernan Tasies

                        Scarcity and hyper-inflation have been present throughout Venezuela’s history including under neo-liberal administrations.

            • ekaneti

              yes, capitalism removes black markets and capitalism makes farming more efficient and productive. Jeez, even Deng Zhao Ping know that in 1976.

          • Michael Lee Harris

            Doubtful. They’d just take it all from you and give it to someone who doesn’t believe in working for a living.

        • David Christian

          You mean NORDIC CAPITALISM is the only type of socialism that works?

          • Patrick Bonacoscia

            It looks like an hybrid between socialism and capitalism… These guys seem to be very pragmatic in fact.

      • Slam

        Any country, whatever the “-ism” it runs by, will be prosperous if it has a minimum level of autarchy, especially for basic needs: food, water, shelter, etc…

      • zapster

        Actually, socialism works when it isn’t being undermined by the US, as every socialist country outside of Scandinavia is. Having your economy constantly under attack by the source of the global reserve currency is an unfair barrier. When it’s left alone, it works extremely well. What are so afraid of that we can’t let people live as they choose?

        • David Christian

          Do you think the USA hacked the Venezuelan currency printer, causing 1600% hyperinflation?

      • Hernan Tasies

        Perhaps, you need to look into Bolivia’s growth since Morales took over.

    • V S

      Stopped reading once I got to this part, “…and sabotage by forces hostile to the revolution.” There is just no point in reading further. Socialism is a failure and Caleb knows it.

      • Boris

        I can’t see any benefits of your neoliberal capitalism in Africa and South America.

        • V S

          If I gave you a reason you would likely blame colonialism. No system works on an overpopulated planet, we just know that socialism is worse because there are so many reminders.

        • David Christian

          Economic freedom leads to prosperity. Notice how the richest countries have the most economic freedom? It’s not a coincidence. – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Index_of_Economic_Freedom

          • Michael Sirius

            Haven’t had the US actively work to undermine them*

            • S Pradhan

              Not the US. The left wing globalists.

              • Slam

                Well, that came from nowhere. You could have said it’s the fault of indonesian walrus.

            • David Christian

              What do you think the USA did to Venezuela?

          • Peter Harris

            Oh, more Wiki?
            Hey Dropkick, the “richest” countries got rich because of their history of Hegemony and Colonialism. E.g. The USA and Great Britain, and their minions, like Australia.

          • Slam

            Prosperity must be kick-started by an abundance of natural resources.

            • David Christian

              Like in Hong Kong?

              • Slam

                Hong Kong is not a country and it doesn’t have many natural resources. It’s just a ghetto of rich people.

                • David Christian

                  Hong Kong has it’s own economy, separate from China’s. It was part of UK until 1997. And it’s the freest economy in the world. Yes, lots of rich people too. See how that works?

      • Peter Harris

        That’s all the reading your small mind could handle?
        The only “failure” is the fact that you could not finish reading.
        So ignorance really does breed contempt.

      • Peter Harris

        That’s all the reading your small mind could handle?
        The only “failure” is the fact that you could not finish reading.
        So ignorance really does breed contempt.

      • Peter Harris

        That’s all the reading your small mind could handle?
        The only “failure” is the fact that you could not finish reading.
        So ignorance really does breed contempt…

        • V S

          Yes I disagree with you so I must be a dumb, bad person. Such an elegant response. Venezuela was hailed as a modern socialist state in the late 90’s, look at’m go.

          • Peter Harris

            “Yes I disagree with you so I must be a dumb”

            No,because you could not be bothered to finish reading the article.
            as i said, ignorance really does breed contempt.

            • V S

              Sorry but it reads like a sophomore’s term paper, that’s why I stopped reading it. Not a single word about Venezuela either, why don’t you go there?

              • Peter Harris

                “Not a single word about Venezuela either…”

                Maybe i was being too kind when i called you Dumb.
                By my count, Venezuela was mention 52 times in the article.
                And yes, i have been there, as well as other countries.
                And you?
                You are an American, so I’m guessing you haven’t traveled very far, maybe barely 2 state borders.

                • V S

                  Now you’re just lying to be cool, do us a favor and cuck out to Venezuela for the long term.

                  • Peter Harris

                    Is that the best you can do?
                    Grits-fa-brains.

                    • V S

                      You seem like a real obedient cuck.

                      • Peter Harris

                        More Grits-fa-brains??

                      • V S

                        Good come back, cuck.

                      • Peter Harris

                        As i thought, more Grits-fa-Brains.

    • “It is odd that the mainstream press blames “socialism” for the food problems in Venezuela, when the food distributors remain in the hands of private corporations. As Venezuelan political analyst Jesus Silva told me recently: “Most food in Venezuela is imported by private companies, they ask for dollars subsidized by the government oil sales to do that; they rarely produce anything or invest their own money.””

      If a company is entirely dependent on government for its business, I’m sorry, but that is not a “private” company.

      • David Christian

        The government of Venezuela controls the importation and distribution of food.

        • Slam

          Well, “controls”. With quotes.

      • Michael Sirius

        Umm… then US oil companies, defense contractors, etc… wouldn’t be private companies (which they are). If they weren’t private companies, they would be nationalized

      • David Christian

        Venezuela’s military handles all food importation and distribution – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-36776991

    • Mar Tin

      That the people of eastern Europe think the economy was better under communism is a blatant lie.

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    • david1952000 .

      Typical left-wing drivel spouted by brainwashed people who just can’t face reality. And those darned Americans buying that Venezuelan oil and paying in cash!!! Of all the nerve!!! And shipping thousands of barrels of light crude to the country so Venezuela can mix its heavy oil to sell it! Stop the economic war!!!! LOL!!! CIA assassins give them back their toilet paper right now!!!

      • joecool1938

        David, evidently Maupin is a total brainwashed communist if he thinks socialism dod not cause Venezuela to become a failed country. Of course, it is ALL the fault of the United States and not both communist dictators Chavez and Maduro. I wonder why he is living in New York and not in the socialist paradise of Venezuela.

        • Boris

          We can see American efforts in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Serbia… This also is not true?

          • David Christian

            What do you think the USA did to cause Venezuela’s problems?

            • Michael Sirius

              The Reagan strategy of having gulf monarchies manipulate oil prices by flooding the market with cheap oil

              • David Christian

                How much do you think a barrel of oil should cost?

        • Michael Sirius

          Because, he would inevitably fall victim to US foreign policy

          • David Christian

            How much do you think a barrel of oil should cost?

            • Slam

              Cost of production.

              • David Christian

                But whose cost of production? Different producers have different costs.

                • Slam

                  Each producer should sell at exactly the production cost, so that the balance sheet of the accounting falls as close to zero as possible.

              • David Christian

                So you think Venezuela would be better with 0% profit on their oil?

                • Slam

                  They should have a strict policy on how much oil should be extracted for the local needs, and then, democratically, decide of how much surplus oil should be extracted (which can be zero), to whom they should sell, and the products to be exchanged for the oil.

        • Reemo Williams

          For those shortsighted and narrow-minded – if you control the money(IMF) and the media, you can sabotage any country, any government. So catch your breath and stop drooling about capitalism, communism and other -isms.

          • David Christian

            You think the IMF hacked venezuela’s currency printer, causing 1600% hyperinflation?

            • Slam

              Figuratively, yes.

              • David Christian

                So Venezuela paid off all loans to the IMF in 2005. Why would Venezuela go on a currency printing spree?

                • Slam

                  The physical notes are not printed in Venezuela. They are produced by an American company.

                  • David Christian

                    Venezuela orders them.

              • David Christian

                What did the IMF do to Venezuela? I know you will NEVER answer, but here is your chance.

                • Slam

                  Lend with interests.

                  • David Christian

                    Venezuela paid off the loans in 2005. And the collapse happened 10 years later. Was it a delayed reaction?

    • David Christian

      Here folks – Venezuela’s NON-OIL exports have declined 80% since 2006. The USA did not do this.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Venezuela#/media/File:Venezuela-private-non-oil-exports.png

      • Peter Harris

        LOL.
        Wiki huh?
        The first, and last option of the feckless, and gormless.

        • David Christian

          I’m sure NON-OIL exports are through the roof, and everything is fine in Venezuela.

          • Slam

            There’s a part of thje problem where food is sold on the black market, and there’s another part of the problem where food SHOULD be managed by food corporations, but it is not, because corporations don’t work for the people, they work for the profits of the owners and shareholders.

        • David Christian

          The source is the Central Bank of Venezuela. But they stopped releasing economic data

      • Wikipedia is not really reliable. It could be edited to tell a different truth. At this point, I don’t know what is reliable. Once upon a time, the news and newspapers were a reliable source of information…those days are gone.

        • David Christian

          So you think production really soared in Venezuela?

          • Slam

            If the capitalist part of Venezuela (about 70% of the economy) exports goods to other countries because it’s more profitable, the Venezuelians are deprived of these goods. Not a good thing.

            • David Christian

              97% of Venezuelan exports are oil. You are saying this is the socialist way? Exports are how a country makes money. Are you saying it’s a good thing that Venezuela’s economy is completely tied to oil?

              • Slam

                It’s a very bad thing, because you are dependent on the external consumption of a single product. Plus, oil is currently exchanged in a very capitalistic way on the international markets, and there’s a lot of speculation.

                The socialist way would be to have an automatic and non-negotiable politics of producting enough oil for the country’s needs (while looking for better energy sources), at no profit. And then, in a democratic context, with regular revisions, determine how much of surplus oil should be produced (can be zero) in the unique goal of exchanging it for products that the country cannot realistically produce itself.

                Distribution of oil (or any energy source) should be set according to an elaborate, democratically decided, mechanism based on priorities and the principle of precedence (chain of dependency of needs).

    • David Christian

      If socialists understood economics, they would not be socialists.

      • Boris

        Really? Tell this to people of Syria or Libya.

        • David Christian

          Libya and Syria are not experiencing 1000% hyperinflation.

      • Slam

        Economics and capitalism are two different and independent things.

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    • Tito

      The leftist president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff deposed because of the high degree of corruption in petrobrás which is the state oil company and corruption in all government agencies. Nothing to do with the low price of oil, but it was a big robbery that began in the government of former President Lula, continuing in the government of Dilma that led to his impeachment.
      This is a reflection of the socialist governments taking all population of a country to misery as in Venezuela. Here in Brazil if not we open eyes and we had not fought against this corrupt socialist government would be equal to Venezuela or worse.

      • Paul Bernay

        That’s not true. The corruption was only used as an excuse to take down Dilma and Petrobras. The world is ruled by the most corrupt who don’t give a damn about any corruption.Brazil’s political and economic crise is a consequence of their international conspiracy to impoverish the country and to rob Brazil of its assets and natural resources, especially oil.

    • klgmac

      Socialism always ends in poverty and misery. Capitalism and free markets create prosperity.

      • Michael Schellenberg

        No… Historically they both suck, to be honest. You don’t have to love one to hate the other… Capitalism has some huge problems (inequality, debt crises, overproduction crises) that are only going to get worse in the 21st century. If socialism creates poverty, capitalism creates twice as much poverty. We need something new.

        • klgmac

          No…you are seriously misinformed. Didn’t China lift the welfare of it’s people when it embraced the profit motive? Yep. The problems you are ascribing to capitalism are the result of free markets being manipulated. Capitalism has done more to reuse poverty than any other system. You are asking for something that doesn’t exist.

          “The great achievements of capitalism have primarily benefited the ordinary citizen, not the wealthy”

          http://www.aei.org/publication/the-great-achievements-of-capitalism-have-primarily-benefited-the-ordinary-citizen-not-the-wealthy/

          • David Christian

            These folks on here are mad because they don’t get their own private jet, and others do. They think that’s unfair.

          • joecool1938

            kigmac, you are as much of a genius as Michael is a ignoramus!

        • klgmac

          “capitalism creates twice as much poverty. We need something new.”

          Name the capitalist counterpart to Venezuela. North Korea or South Korea?

        • joecool1938

          “capitalism creates twice as much poverty”…what economic seminar did you attend? That is the most ignorant statement I have ever heard! I suggest you return and finish grade school.

        • S Pradhan

          +Michael Bae Inequality? This is the most selfish argument I hear from leftists. Guess what? No one cares. If everyone started making the equal amount, why would someone want to waste years of their life to become a doctor or a lawyer if they can earn the same by working at McDonalds?

          Debt crises? That actually happens in government’s involvement in business, which is a socialist trait, not a capitalist one.

          Overproduction crises? What bullshit? You really don’t know how capitalism works do you? When there is overproduction, the price becomes cheaper and more people can afford it thus making it easier for people to consume products. Good job fella you just showed that you’re speaking gibberish.

          “If socialism creates poverty, capitalism creates twice as much poverty.”
          For instance?

      • sabelmouse

        lol! just look at the poverty in the usa.

        • David Christian

          Yea, even the poorest in USA have a higher standard of living that 90% of the rest of the planet. Even making minimum wage in USA $7.25/hr, is more than 90% of the rest of the world. So terrible.

          • sabelmouse

            working 2 jobs, barely making rent or feeding yourself/your children, being homeless, no healthcare. sure, great for a super rich country bragging day and night.
            you have no clue or ignore poverty.
            not to mention how much misery is caused by the usa world wide.

            • David Christian

              Yea, it’s so sad that people have to work. Capitalism only works if you do.

              • sabelmouse

                well, you’re either willfully ignorant or actually stupid.

                • David Christian

                  USA causes misery, no doubt.
                  Venezuela is not our fault, regardless what the tin foil hat crowd would have you believe.

                  • sabelmouse

                    the whole world is your fault. and that of the the ”ex” colonials.

                    • David Christian

                      The unprecedented prosperity of China is USA’s fault? Ok.

                      • Slam

                        Prosperity comes from an abundance of natural resources, hard work and technology.

                      • David Christian

                        Trillions of dollars worth of investment from Fortune 500 companies sure does help. It lifted 500 million chinese people out of poverty.

                      • Slam

                        Not really. Money cannot be eaten or used to compute numbers.

                      • David Christian

                        Neither can steel, but it’s useful.

                    • David Christian

                      The rising standard of living of billions of people is the USA’s doing? Did America cause the eradication of polio and smallpox? Ok.

                      • Slam

                        Polio was caused by the US. Smallpox is an old disease that disappeared by itself in most of the world, and its disappearance slowed down by vaccination.

                      • David Christian

                        Polio has existed for thousands of years. Are you saying DDT was around thousands of years ago?

                  • Slam

                    Partially your fault, for each American company that operates there or trades to or from Venezuela.

                    • David Christian

                      You mean it’s Citgo’s fault for buying 700,000 barrels of oil from Venezuela every day?

              • joecool1938

                David, it seems that “sablerat” must have used up all her food stamp issues and welfare payments to be so bitter against the USA. Please do not type the word “WORK” when replying, you may cause a nervous breakdown!

                • David Christian

                  All nations hate America. I agree, it’s lonely at the top. Bu I hear it’s a helluva lot more lonely at the bottom.

          • Robin Evans

            Are you using America’s standard of living as an example of the benefits of neo-colonialist exploitation? The other side of the same coin is in places like Africa.

        • joecool1938

          Exactly sabelmouse, the self anointed queen, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is salivating that she will make the USA a great socialist country in the world.

          • sabelmouse

            what planet are you on?

        • David Christian

          We have plenty of food here in the USA. Our biggest health problem is OBESITY. A country with so much food that everyone is too fat. Think about that.

          • sabelmouse

            you should read stuffed and starved by raj patel.

            • David Christian

              So Venezuela is starving because Americans are fat? lol

              • sabelmouse

                i always think it’s sad when people use the www in such limited ways.
                there’s reviews, there’s articles, there’s a website but no, don’t, just assume nonsense.

                • David Christian

                  Price controls cause shortages. Econ 101. That’s why Venezuela starves.

                  • sabelmouse

                    not what we were talking about just a couple of comments up.

      • Vatnos

        Tell that to any country the US overthrew a democratically elected leftist leader and propped up a puppet.

        Guatemala, Chile, Haiti, Democratic Republic of the Congo… crapholes all of them. How’s capitalism working out in Haiti again? Or the Dominican Republic? Doesn’t look so good… Of course it looks good from within the US, where the profits go, but in the countries the US exploits labor and resources from the living conditions are miserable.

        Cuba, Venezuela, and Vietnam would look like Haiti right now if the US had succeeded, but instead they’re doing much better.

        • klgmac

          Do you visit this planet often? Venezuela and Cuba are Socialist basket cases. Vietnam has embraced capitalism and is doing much better.

          “It turns out communist Vietnam loves capitalism more than the US does”

          http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-03-12/it-turns-out-communist-vietnam-loves-capitalism-more-us-does

        • klgmac

          Venezuela went full Socialist. Abject poverty and misery were the result. Don’t be a denier.

          http://www.democraticunderground.com/110851872

        • klgmac

          ” but in the countries the US exploits labor and resources from the living conditions are miserable.”

          That’s a funny premise. Aren’t “exploited” Central American’s coming to the US in droves?

        • klgmac

          How did the Clinton Foundation good works help the Haitian’s huh?

        • klgmac

          Would you point to the Worker’s Paradise of North Korea as an example of how capitalism and colonialism have destroyed a country? Or is that South Korea?

          • tigbear

            70 years of sanctions — how long could the USA last with that length of duration of sanctions? North Korea is functioning well, all things considered: it’s preserving its sovereignty, everyone has got a roof over their heads and enough to eat. North Korea values the IMPORTANT things and thinks in the LONG TERM. The country does not import immigrants to raise GDP or lower wages for the capitalists. The North Koreans have a philosophy that the PEOPLE are the strength, not the natural resources, of which it practically has none (only 15% of land is arable and only natural resource is coal).

            And because of juche, they have a good manufacturing industry in certain areas. However, because AMERICA blockades them, they cannot trade. Hence why they are poor. But still it is standing. Because of socialism. North Korea has managed to maintain its sovereignty through practising a unique form of socialism called Juche. Because of Juche, they are relatively insulated from economic wars that are waged against them by capitalist countries.

            Such warfare is currently being done to North Korea, Venezuela, Russia, Syria and Iran.
            All of these are socialist countries – all have had sanctions on them recently or still do. The USA is not only levying sanctions on them but is also waging other kinds of economic warfare. I heard that people were flooding Venezuela with 100 bolivar notes … this was apparently happening from neighboring Colombia, which is a client of the US and no friend of socialist Venezuela. We don’t know all the dirty tricks capitalists use behind the scenes, including COVERT ones. Maybe those notes are fake. Maybe they were hoarding them to flood Venezuela with them at a later date.

            When the US economy experiences a downturn, China will be badly affected because it emphasized exports to the US for creating wealth. China should have followed the principles of Juche, and so should have Venezuela. it is not too late for them to do this, and I recommend that Venezuela not throw the baby out with the bath water but develop a culture of Juche. Now is a good time to do that since sanctions means there is a scarcity of goods.

            They should believe in themselves and make the sacrifices NOW for the future. If they concentrate on Juche, and make themselves self-sufficient, they will be able to withstand the economic wars that the USA undertakes against them. Juche requires some planning and organization. Society needs to be organized into communes, and within these communes, self-government should be allowed to happen. Let the communities solve their own problems. Central government should manage the defense and health care and other state-related things. The ingenuity of the people will rise to the occasion and creative solutions will appear.

            Keep in mind that South Korea experienced the IMF crisis. People would have starved if they had not been bailed out by the IMF. So don’t use it to compare with North Korea. Even today there is a high suicide rate among poverty-stricken elderly in SK. Poverty is hidden in capitalist countries. There is poverty among the abundance. South Korea has got the highest suicide rates in the world and most of the suicides are elderly suicides.

            There are many poor elderly who are homeless. South Korea has a very poor social net. Homeless elderly sleep in the subways. There is no advanced pension system as in socialist countries. You see elderly working, picking up recycled cardboard for as little as ten dollars a day. Yes, bent-over grandmothers in their 70s pushing heavy carts in the street, picking up trash to survive. The government doesn’t look after them. South Korea has a laissez-faire economy.

            Even people in rich Japan die of starvation. One man lost his job – he had no family, and he stayed in his home. He ran out of money and then ran out of food, and he died of starvation. His body was found months later. It had mummified.

            China was going to help the Venezuelans out in 2015, and even though oil prices were low, there was light at the end of the tunnel with this news. Venezuela has a resource that China needs, and in a normal situation, Venezuela would be doing OK. However, the US blocked this deal with sanctions and we know what happened after that.

            It’s imperative that socialist nations stick together and help one another. That way they can survive. Venezuela was shipping crude to Syria, an ally and a country under sanctions, and so Venezuela was punished.

            Venezuela has to go even MORE SOCIALIST to survive this economic war and practice juche. The dollar’s dominance needs to be broken. Socialist countries must develop ALTERNATIVES – bitcoin, a new currency, yuan or bartering. Socialist countries must not become dependent on capitalist countries as capitalist countries can influence their economies heavily and manipulate them. Bartering can help countries like Venezuela overcome the problem of price fluctuations brought about by countries such as Saudi Arabia. And bartering with other socialist economies can defeat the problems such as production costs being higher than the profits from oil sales.

            Sanctioned countries, which mostly happen to be socialist by the way, not the nations of the head-choppers like the Saudis, can operate within their own community, trading with each other. Uniting together in this way strengthens them as a whole, and insulates them against the effects of sanctions and their isolation from international banking system, such as being cut off from the SWIFT system.

            China is so worried that American companies will pull out of China, they are now abandoning their socialist allies and going along with the US in imposing sanctions on socialist countries. China will come to regret this as it will become just a puppet and tool of the capitalists. Its own economy, as already stated, is extremely vulnerable.

            Additionally, partly the hyperinflation is a result, I speculate, of shifting to a socialist system. This is an unavoidable part of a nation transitioning into a more socialist economy. The hyperinflation is a signal to the government that MORE socialist measures are needed. In this case, the government needs to re-structure the food production and distribution system. Unfortunately repression and government force may need to be applied in order for this to happen. Think of it as wartime fascism. The US did something similar to the Venezuelans when the British waged an economic war against it when the US overturned British rule. For the next 100 years the US engaged in protectionism to counter the measures the British arrayed against it to topple the US government. The US would have undergone the same kind of upheaval during that time, when exports to the US dropped in volume.

            Americans had much revolutionary spirit back then and were prepared to undergo hardships if they meant they would lead to greater good, which did result. Protectionism laid the foundation of America’s prosperity today. Unfortunately now the capitalists are systematically stripping away the prosperity and moving it into the hands of a few.

            • klgmac

              People’s capacity for self delusion never ceases to amaze me. You take the cake though.

            • S Pradhan

              +tigbear Most of the things you said are factually incorrect. Check your facts before commenting bullshit.

              • Slam

                Please correct these facts if you can.

      • Boris

        Really? Like in Africa or South/Central America?

        • klgmac

          Like in everywhere it’s implemented. the only thing that changes is the time frame to collapse. But to your point, certainly Zimbabwe and Venezuela would speak to my point, wouldn’t you agree?

          • Dre_loves_Trump

            South Africa got rid of White Rule, what followed – Collapse
            Venezuela came under control of it’s indigenous populous, what followed – Collapse
            Get the point???

            • Peter Harris

              That’s got to be the dumbest, and inaccurate comment I’ve heard for a while.

              • S Pradhan

                +Peter Harris Hey jackass, bring an argument or get lost.

                • Peter Harris
                  • David Christian

                    Has any country ever practiced “real” socialism?

                    • Slam

                      Well, everyone can have a different definition (and it’s easy to fall into the No True Scotsman fallacy), but I don’t think any country, to this day, practiced socialism to a high enough level, with a high enough level of rigor, and for a long enough time. We have no real examples, but there’s progress. The real problem is the transition times, and the corruption that comes from the other countries that stay capitalist.

                      A socialist country that wants to make exchanges in good faith with another country will basically bump into an incompatibility on how each country’s markets operate. Socialism means you exchange the same value, without profits, and you don’t try to exploit the other with market prices or other ad hoc mechanisms. But the capitalist country will find this practice totally normal and honest.

                  • klgmac

                    Your bigotry is showing.

                    • Peter Harris

                      And your lack of education is on display.

                      • klgmac

                        I love the pretentiousness of Progs. It’s as unearned as Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize.

                        “Nobel secretary regrets Obama peace prize”

                        http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34277960

                      • Peter Harris

                        Progs???
                        What, from the 1970s??

                        Keep up with the times Daisy Mae.

                      • klgmac

                        Because no one calls themselves Progressive any more? Get real, denier.

                      • Peter Harris

                        Oh, I don’t deign, I just like to point out morons like you.

                      • klgmac

                        Now that enlightened Progressive policies have fixed the US healthcare system and brought peace to the Middle East, who can doubt their ability to control the temperature’s of the planet right down to the 1/2 degree? Certainly not someone as credulous as you. LOL.

                      • Peter Harris

                        Damn it, I cannot point out the fact that you are a moron, because you’re doing it for me.

                      • klgmac

                        I understand. Smear is Progressivism 101. It’s not like they have any successes to point to.

                      • Peter Harris

                        Ha ha ha…
                        And you Alt-righters have a degree in hypocrisy.

                      • klgmac

                        The state no one calls Golden any more leads the nation with it’s poverty rate. It’s the oppressive Progressive policies that have created the poverty.

                        “California again has nation’s highest rate of real poverty”

                        http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/dan-walters/article101657302.html

                      • Peter Harris

                        Oh yes, like that website is a fontaine of peer reviewed knowledge.

                      • klgmac

                        The source is the US Census right? You don’t have any other rebuttal besides smearing the messenger, do you? Nope. YOU discredit yourself.

                        “”If you look at the official poverty measure in California, we’re about average with the rest of the country,” Mayes said. “But if you use the supplemental poverty measure, we are in the lead. We have the highest poverty rate in the nation — higher than New Mexico, higher than any of the southern states, Louisiana, Alabama, higher than Idaho.”

                        http://www.politifact.com/california/statements/2017/jan/20/chad-mayes/true-california-has-nations-highest-poverty-rate-w/

                      • Peter Harris

                        And your point is???

                      • klgmac

                        Same as it was at the top. Socialism always ends in poverty misery and tyranny. Thanks for the latest tiresome example.

                        “In Venezuela, “Savage Suffering” Takes Hold Amid Frightening “Food Emergency”

                        http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-02-13/venezuela-savage-suffering-takes-hold-amid-frightening-food-emergency

                      • Slam

                        Venezuela is still at least 70% capitalist. Plus there’s the black market. So, problems are still 70% caused by capitalistic interests.

                      • klgmac

                        Socialism took Venezuela from the richest South American country to the poorest. YOU should educate yourself.

                        “In 2001 Venezuela was the richest country in South America; it is now among the poorest”

                        https://nalert.blogspot.com/2017/04/in-2001-venezuela-was-richest-country.html

                      • Peter Harris

                        “It’s not like they have any successes to point to.”

                        That’s hilarious too.
                        I guess you regard the election of the orange clown as successful?

                      • klgmac

                        And I suppose you think the now rump Democrat Party is successful? That’s funny!

                        “The Obama Legacy: Over 1,000 Democratic Seats Lost to Republicans”

                        http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2015/11/the-obama-legacy-over-1000-democratic-seats-lost-to-republicans/

                      • Peter Harris

                        Huh?
                        The Gateway for morons?

                      • klgmac

                        Smear is the typical Progressive rebuttal. It’s the safe place of intellectual lightweights, like yourself. Why don’t you lust the news sources you consider credible? Be specific. This should be a LOT of fun. LOL.

                      • Peter Harris

                        What, you read those links already?

                      • klgmac

                        Why would I waste my time. Neither you nor your links are at all credible.

                        “California Is America’s Poverty State”

                        http://www.laweekly.com/news/california-is-americas-poverty-state-7380756

                        It’s the One Party Progressive rule that created that poverty.

                      • Peter Harris

                        I still don’t understand your simplistic point of view.
                        But then again, I’m having a conversation with a gormless moron.

                      • klgmac

                        I understand. You are a denier.

                        “POLITIFACT: California Has The Nation’s Highest Poverty Rate”

                        http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org/2017/01/politifact-california-has-the-nations-highest-poverty-rate/

                      • Peter Harris

                        Hey galah, you can have the last word, because I need to go to bed.

                      • klgmac

                        Yeah, your talking points are old and tired. You must be too! LOL.

                        “Despite Income Gains, California Poverty Rate Still High”

                        https://ww2.kqed.org/forum/2016/09/14/california-has-highest-poverty-rate-in-u-s/

                      • Peter Harris

                        I’m 27
                        And you?

                      • Peter Harris

                        The reason why California is in poverty, is for the same reason that much of the United States is in poverty.
                        And the reason is, is because there is no altruism in American culture.
                        Just guns guns guns!

                      • klgmac

                        You are flailing. Your premise is that America could never be rich becuase they owned guns? ROTFLMAO! At you.

                      • Peter Harris

                        No dopey, I wasn’t linking the two at all, I was just pointing out what is prominent in American culture and what is not.
                        But like I said, you can have the last word.

                      • klgmac

                        Socialism always ends in poverty, misery and tyranny. Venezuela is but the latest example.

                        “How Venezuela’s corrupt socialists are looting the country to death”

                        http://nypost.com/2017/01/10/how-venezuelas-corrupt-socialists-are-looting-the-country-to-death/

                      • David Christian

                        California is the 6th largest economy in the world.

                      • Peter Harris
                      • klgmac

                        Can you find a credible source?

                      • Peter Harris

                        “But despite all this stiff competition, Jim Hoft (aka Gateway Pundit) stands out as uniquely incompetent. Hoft runs with (or spawns) almost every inane story that bubbles up in the conservative blogosphere, has proven that he has absolutely no vetting process for the sources he cites, and apparently has a hard time with basic reading comprehension.”

                        https://mediamatters.org/blog/2010/09/21/jim-hoft-dumbest-man-on-the-internet/170927

                      • klgmac

                        MM? ROTFLMAO.

                      • Peter Harris

                        It just goes to show, that small minds are easily amused.

                      • klgmac

                        I understand. Smear and bullying are your only rebuttals.

                        “CALIFORNIA: “LAND OF POVERTY”

                        http://www.newgeography.com/content/005026-california-land-poverty

                      • Peter Harris

                        My God, you are out doing yourself in hiphopcrisy.

                      • klgmac

                        Progressive hog heaven California leads the nation with it’s poverty rate. That’s true statement right?

                        “California Has Highest Rate Of Poverty In The Nation, According To U.S. Census Bureau”

                        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/07/california-highest-rate-of-poverty_n_4233292.html

                      • Peter Harris

                        See my previous answer.

                      • klgmac

                        You have no answer. The US Census says that California has the highest poverty rate. Every one else is wrong and you are right eh? You are a denier.

                        “Why California Has Nation’s Highest Poverty Rate”

                        http://audio.californiareport.org/archive/R201609190850/a

                      • Peter Harris

                        I don’t respond to reductionist nonsense, as I said, there is terrible poverty all over the United States.

                      • klgmac

                        You can’t respond because your arguments are intellectually bankrupt. Like The inner cities run by Democrat’s for decades.

                        “PORTLANDIA: CITY OF THE PETTY, BANKRUPT, VINDICTIVE LEFT”

                        http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/04/portlandia-city-of-the-petty-bankrupt-vindictive-left.php

                      • Peter Harris

                        look at my avatar as a clue.

                      • Peter Harris

                        But I guess when you are a disciple of Jim hoft, you haven’t got the ability to question anything.

                      • klgmac

                        I guess when you are a disciple of Alinsky, truth doesn’t matter.

                        “California Has Highest Child Poverty Rate In Nation”

                        http://www.kpbs.org/news/2015/feb/25/california-has-nations-highest-child-poverty-rate/

                        It’s the Progressive policies.

                      • Peter Harris

                        That’s fine, at least I’m not a heartless dropkick

                      • klgmac

                        Peter Harris. Fine with poverty and feudalism. Everything else is just a pose.

                        “California’s housing policies exacerbate high poverty rate”

                        http://www.ocregister.com/2016/09/30/californias-housing-policies-exacerbate-high-poverty-rate/

                • Peter Harris

                  For a start, Venezuela is not a true Socialist state.
                  But anyway, read this…

                  https://venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/10112

                  • David Christian

                    Has any country ever practiced “true” socialism?

                    • Slam

                      Venezuela is still 70% capitalist. So even on a purely mathematical basis, it’s still capitalist.

                      • David Christian

                        All the oil companies were nationalized by the government. Oil is 50% of Venezuela’s GDP, and 95% of their exports. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Venezuela Reality is calling, and you need to pick up the phone.

                      • Slam

                        Please state your arguments without insults. I know you can do it.

                      • David Christian

                        Math is not your specialty is it? Venezuela’s GDP is 50% oil. 97% of exports are oil. The oil was nationalized by the government. How is venezuela 70% capitalist?

                      • Slam

                        A good starting point would be to take all companies, and calculate the ratio between companies that are socialist (no profit), and companies that are capitalist.

          • Michael Sirius

            50% of America is in poverty…

            • David Christian

              The poorest Americans making minimum wage have more purchasing power than 90% of the people on the planet – http://www.globalrichlist.com

              • Slam

                That’s not attributable to capitalism.

                • David Christian

                  What’s it attributable to? Good luck? Oh, I get it. Capitalism’s success is about good luck, and socialism is perfect, but just has bad luck?

                  • Slam

                    Interestingly, yes, there’s an important part of a country’s success due to the abundance of natural ressources, among other things. Food scarcity means you can’t develop more “advanced” technologies.

                    But other than that, a country with many products and services and infrastructures is due to hard work. Most of the time, capitalism hinders hard work and innovations, because money and profits get in the way.

                    Also, capitalism doesn’t account for distribution of wealth, so on average, a country may look wealthy, but the averages are made of a lot of poor, who work a lot, and a few rich, who work less.

                    • David Christian

                      Hong Kong has no natural resources, and it’s one of the wealthiest places on earth, with one of the highest standards of living. Capitalism.
                      Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves, in a rain forest, with a year round growing season, and they starve with the world’s worst economy. Socialism.

            • S Pradhan

              +Michael Sirius No it’s not. 95% of Americans are rich by global standards.

        • S Pradhan

          +Boris Yes. Because Africa and South/Central America was starting to flourish under capitalism. Then Che Guevara happened.

    • klgmac

      So the premise of the article is that higher oil prices are good for poor people? That’s a special kind of stupid.

      • S Pradhan

        This is because preaching socialism only works on stupid people.

    • D-man

      What a steaming pile of relativist male bovine excreta, you completely ignore that all socialism ever did for Venezuela was line Chavez’s pockets and prove that when the state controls all media,propaganda is a good brainwashing tool.
      Venezuela is swimming in oil, and could be one of agriculture’s strongest producers.
      Sadly the main point that when govt.gets involved in running anything prices increase, efficiency decreases, and corruption is rampant.
      The US had little to do with the implosion of an ill run Venezuela, and has little to do with the failure of a political ideology built on a fairy tale.

      • joecool1938

        These ignorant socialists cringe when you compare Dubai with Venezuela! Oh, by the way, Venezuela has much more oil than Dubai!

        • S Pradhan

          +joecool1938 Exactly.

    • AgnosticFront87

      You don’t know what your talking about and that’s why your argument is so pathetic. Government took control over private industy that they didn’t know how to run. Oil and food. They have the longest growing period and fertile land, but they raped farmers and made policy that has their people near starving. Same with all the other industry they took over. They inflated their money like all so much that people have to carry full bags of cash that’s near worthless. Private industry funds social programs, when you kill private industy and business you stop the money flow to these programs. That’s why it never works. Europe isn’t socialist, they understand you let private industry feeds them. Socialists think government is God of everything. Communism and socialism fail because it goes against basic human instinct of free will and self determination, when you kill people’s rights and will to better themselves and their surroundings your society collapses. History has proven this

      • TeeJae

        Who doesn’t know what they’re talking about? Learn your history; the REAL history of the US’s role in toppling nationalist-leaning governments in South America. Learn what it’s done to countries that don’t want to jump on the (predatory) Capitalist bandwagon. It’s not pretty. And you won’t like it. But you (clearly) need to know it.

        • David Christian

          The USA did not cause the 700% hyperinflation in Venezuela.

          • TeeJae

            Citation(s)?

            • David Christian

              How would the USA cause the hyperinflation? Did the CIA hack their currency printer?

              • TeeJae

                I didn’t ask you to elaborate on your question. I asked for citations of your 700% figure. Please cite where you’re getting that.

      • James Wherry

        Amen! Either it would work, or it would not, and it has not.

        One problem, though: I really DO agree with Michael Moore inasmuch as I wish people would STOP mis-using the term “Socialism.”

        They mean “Social Welfare State.” Socialism refers to the economic system in which the means of production are in the hands of the employees. America has MILLIONS of “socialist” businesses: we call them “Sole Proprietorships.”

    • David Christian

      This must be why the USSR collapsed. If only capitalism didn’t work so well, socialism would succeed.

      • James Wherry

        Too true!

        To paraphrase Sir Winston Churchill, “Capitalism is the WORST economic system – except for all the rest.”

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    • Jay F

      I personally enjoy articles pointing out our American Imperialism. For the past 30-40 years we have been messing with the politics in Central and South America. We put ridiculous trade agreements on many places and bombed out when China started producing cheaper goods. We completely depleted their natural resources during the Banana Republic. We set up puppet govt’s like in Panama, Venezuela, Honduras, etc. Then we wonder why they all have to immigrate here when their economy tanks.

      • David Christian

        America depleted all the oil of Venezuela? So their claims of having the largest oil reserves in the world are lies?

        • Harrison Ivaz

          Jesus Christ, I don’t think I’ve seen so many straw men from a single poster for a long time. No, America did not “deplete” the oil reserves – they worked with the Saudi’s to overproduce oil to drive down prices. Venezuela does have some of the worlds largest oil preserves, but that isn’t very useful if the market price for the goods your selling is lower than your cost of production. For someone going on on about “understanding economics”, it’s odd that you fail to address this. Not only that, but this was a tactic employed by the United States to topple the Soviet Union, which is cited in the article.

          The United States has a long history of toppling leftist governments and waging economic wars – for example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Condor. It’s also funny(if not a bit sad) how you are ignoring the inconvenient statistics in the article about how infrastructure and living standards have improved in Venezuela since the implementation of socialism – which wasn’t even socialism because private industry still exist in Venezuela https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vensecar_Internacional – this is just one example.

          Anyway, I’m not trying to defend the actions of the Venezuelan government, especially the recent repressive measures they’ve resorted to. However, your perception of Capitalism, Socialism and the United States especially, are completely divorced from reality.

          • David Christian

            The Saudis overproduced to maintain market share versus American and Canadian shale oil producers. It worked. Many shale producers have folded up and shut down. Oil is now trading at it’s 100 year price average. If your economic system can’t function with average commodity prices, then it’s not a viable system.

            I love how clowns like yourself refer to Cold War tactics from decades ago as proof of the economic sabotage. That does not prove anything, and you know it.

            Venezuela has removed price controls, and food is returning to the shelves across the country. This is simple economics. Price controls always lead to shortages, and they always have.

            The hyperinflation remains and grows daily, and some morons (not you yet) claim the USA is somehow responsible for Venezuela’s decision to print massive amounts of money.

            The next thing they should do is to let the exchange rate float, but since this is the source of corruption, it won’t happen.

        • joecool1938

          David, do you remember the famous “OIL SHORTAGE” back in the eighties? Wow, where we idiots to swallow that BS!

          • David Christian

            What does this have to do with Venezuela? We will wait…

      • David Christian

        To be fair, Maduro was a really good bus driver.

      • David Christian

        I personally enjoy examples of socialism collapsing. When China turned capitalist, I was overjoyed. When the USSR collapsed, I thought that was pretty funny.

        • Jay F

          You mean like how Denmark, Norway, New Zealand, Sweden are all failing?

          • David Christian

            You just named a bunch of capitalist countries. There is a reason they call it NORDIC CAPITALISM. These economies are known as welfare capitalism, also. Thanks for playing.

          • David Christian

            They are all capitalist countries, so of course they are not collapsing.

          • David Christian

            You just named a bunch of capitalist countries. It’s called Nordic capitalism for a reason. Thanks for playing.

          • klgmac

            Norway is worried about Sweden collapsing. Nice example, fool.

            “Norwegian government: We will abandon international law if Sweden collapses”

            http://speisa.com/modules/articles/index.php/item.2527/norwegian-government-we-will-abandon-international-law-if-sweden-collapses.html

          • joecool1938

            Denmark, Norway and Sweden are failing because of their stupid decision to allow Muslims into their country!

            • Jay F

              Yea, too bad they weren’t sent to the countries who destabilized theirs.

          • Vman

            New Zealand is and has always been a capitalist country. It has also wound back some of it’s more harmful social benefit payouts because they created too much damage to society and were economicly unsustainable.

          • David Christian

            The Prime Minister of Denmark thinks you are a MORON – http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/michel-kellygagnon/denmark-not-socialist_b_9011652.html

      • David Christian

        Are you saying the US Caused the 700% hyperinflation in Venezuela? Did the CIA hack their currency printers?

        • Jay F

          I don’t know man did I say that. It doesn’t look like I said that. If you don’t get my point it’s really not worth explaining. If yo need help finding key words in what you think I said Ctrl+F will let you search a page.

          • David Christian

            Here is your opportunity to educate the world on the cause(s) of Venezuela’s economic collapse. You have to decide if it’s worth the effort.

            So I take your response to mean you don’t think the hyperinflation is the fault of the USA. If you think the USA caused it, please explain.

            Please offer an explanation if you think the USA is responsible for the economic collapse in Venezuela. This is your chance.

            • Jay F

              Please read this article: http://www.telesurtv.net/english/analysis/Tracking-US-Intervention-in-Venezuela-Since-2002-20151117-0045.html

              “”Shortly after being returned to power by popular force in April 2002, then president Hugo Chavez quickly warned the United States was already planning its next move. Chavez had been ousted from office for just under two days in early April, in a coup carefully choreographed by Venezuela’s business elite, renegade military elements and the United States.

              By early October, 2002, Chavez announced Venezuelan authorities had already uncovered another coup plot. Two weeks later, Chavez narrowly escaped an assassination attempt. The attempt appeared to coincide with anti-government protests.

              Then, as U.S. president George W. Bush entered his second term in 2005, Washington appeared to redouble its efforts to remove Chavez. A month after Bush was sworn in for a second time, Chavez said his government had uncovered another assassination plot. The plot was uncovered just weeks after then U.S. secretary of state Condoleezza Rice described the Venezuelan leader as a “destabilizing force.” In September that year, Bush again lashed out at Venezuela, accusing the country of failing in its fight against the narcotics trade.

              Another major coup plot was foiled in 2006, when Venezuelan authorities said they found evidence the U.S. embassy in Caracas had been secretly collecting military information. That same year, the Department of State began barring certain arms sales to Venezuela. This was the beginning of what would later become a key pillar of U.S. policy towards Caracas – sanctions.

              In 2011, state oil company PDVSA was hit with U.S. sanctions, while in 2013 state arms manufacturer CAVIM was also sanctioned. More sanctions were imposed in late 2014 against Venezuelan government officials. Then in March 2015, U.S President Barack Obama issued an executive order imposing another round of sanctions, and describing Venezuela as an “unusual and extraordinary threat” to the United States. This was the most controversial round of sanctions, and sparked widespread condemnation in the region. The Obama administration was eventually pressured into admitting Venezuela doesn’t pose a threat to the United States, though the sanctions remained in place.

              The evolution of economic pressure on Venezuela is perhaps the most striking example of the continuity of Venezuela policy between the Bush and Obama administrations. However, this overt aggression against Venezuela has likewise been accompanied by a continuous campaign of subversion, largely in the vein of U.S. activities in the lead-up to the 2002 coup.

              Much of this took place through groups like USAID, the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI).

              In a 2006 diplomatic cable made public by WikiLeaks, then U.S. ambassador William Brownfield said both USAID and OTI were playing central roles in a strategy to oust Chavez.

              “This strategic objective represents the majority of USAID/OTI work in Venezuela,” Brownfield wrote at the time.

              According to investigations by the U.S.-Venezuelan lawyer Eva Golinger, Between 2004 and the time of the cable’s initial, secret publication in 2006, USAID spent close to US$15 million on operations in Venezuela. Much of this involved supporting around 300 so-called civil society groups – largely a collection of far right, anti-government groups. One prominent recipient of U.S. funding was Sumate, an anti-Chavez political group founded by right-wing firebrand Maria Machado. Machado was a signatory of the Carmona Decree – the political manifesto of the short-lived 2002 coup government. The fact that one of the key recipients of U.S. aid was a coup plotter has led many in Venezuela to accuse USAID of being opposed to democracy.

              The latest information available suggests USAID’s annual budget for Venezuela was over US$5 million, despite the fact that foreign funding of political activities was banned in Venezuela in 2010. The banning was condemned by the U.S. Department of State, despite the fact the United States has a similar law against funding of political campaigns.

              The key factor making such a move even more rational in Venezuela is the fact that unlike the United States, Caracas is still facing coup attempts backed by a foreign belligerent. In early 2015, the Venezuelan government uncovered yet another brewing coup attempt. This time, plotters being paid in U.S. dollars were planning to incite street violence, then carry out a series of coordinated bombings targeting key government sites. President Nicolas Maduro accused opposition leaders of mostly being aware of the plot well in advance, and said the plan was aimed at culminating in the collapse of his government.

              As new elections approach on Dec. 6, concern is again mounting that Venezuela’s opposition could be planning more destabilization. However, it’s unclear which route the United States will take. Will Washington continue its simmering campaign of underhand destabilization, or will it opt for another open coup attempt like in 2002? “”

              • David Christian

                The PDVSA sanctions are as follows: The sanctions we have imposed on PDVSA prohibit the company from competing for U.S. government procurement contracts, from securing financing from the Export-Import Bank of the United States, and from obtaining U.S. export licenses. These sanctions do not apply to PDVSA subsidiaries and do not prohibit the export of crude oil to the United States.

                Further sanctions targeted 7 whole people in Venezuela. 7 people who are not allowed to travel to the USA, and who had their personal assets seized in the USA.

                Do you think these seven people had so much money in US banks as to cause a collapse of the entire Venezuelan economy? If so, then how do you think these government employees wound up with so much money in their personal bank accounts?

              • David Christian

                Well, Venezuela has finally surrendered to reason, logic, and sound economic theory. Venezuela has relaxed price controls to address shortages. Now the foods will return to the shelves, but it will take some time, and it will be very expensive. But they will not starve.

                • joecool1938

                  Fact…Chinese are hard working people…Venezuelans are lazy people, period!

              • David Christian

                None of that explains the 1600% hyperinflation. Who do you think caused that in venezuela? Do you understand what causes hyperinflation?

          • David Christian

            Then what were you saying? Are you saying the USA is somehow responsible for their economic collapse?

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    • OttoMaddox

      The author of this piece doesn’t understand a lick of economics.

      • David Christian

        If socialists understood economics, they would not be socialists.

        • James Wherry

          LoL! Brilliant!

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    • James Wherry

      This article just unraveled. This morning (28 July 2016), NPR ran a great expose, speaking with a father and son in Venezuela. The father is a die-hard supporter of the socialist government and the son condemns it as responsible for the economic woes of its own government. http://www.npr.org/2016/07/28/487729943/a-father-and-son-debate-venezuelas-economic-crisis.

      The son pointed out the following:

      1. Semi-tractors full of food and goods are pouring into the nation – under military escort. The goods are bound for government elites and those who can pay for it. Apparently, the only people who “misunderstand” socialism are the socialists running the nation.

      2. The government is distributing food rations THROUGH THE RULING SOCIALIST PARTY. To qualify, you must complete a lengthy questionnaire that asks, among other things, your party affiliation, who you think is responsible for the present problem, etc. In short, if you are poor, you get food if you support the socialists. If you do not: you starve. Is that ALSO part of your “socialism”????

      • Jay F

        Oh if you heard it from a lobbyist group then it definitely can’t be propaganda. Has nothing to do with the puppet govts we set up all throughout central and south America.
        The banana republic was also due to socialism too right? America had noooooothing to do with it.

        • James Wherry

          And your evidence, Sir?

          National Public Radio is not a lobbyist group. Remember that sarcasm is also not evidence.

          Finally, Latin American and South American countries have been fairly independent of the USA – at the UN and especially in demanding recognition of Cuba by the USA.

          • David Christian

            Did the USA cause the 700% hyperinflation in Venezuela? That’s a shame.

          • David Christian

            To be fair, Maduro was an excellent bus driver.

            • Vman

              Apparently he wasn’t good enough to keep his job as a bus driver.

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    • PJ

      “Most food in Venezuela is imported by private companies, they ask for dollars subsidized by the government oil sales to do that; they rarely produce anything or invest their own money.”

      When many companies were expropriated including companies producing food, what do you expect? US Cargill was expropriated for producing a better grade of rice than the grade that was under price control or not printing to regulated price on the packages. Is the country still running it?

      I have to have a good laugh here. Many businesses in a lot of industries that were domestically owned were “expropriated” by Chevez. And now you want to blame importers for not “investing” their own money?

      I’m surprised they aren’t in favor of expropriating the private companies that are doing the importing and have the country run it.

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    • Dimitri Ledkovsky

      Socialism leads to corruption and decline. Period.

    • James Wherry

      First of all, “socialism” is the economic theory where the means of production are in the hands of the workers. Nothing more. America has many “socialist” businesses, including sole proprietorships.

      What you are referring to is a “social welfare state,” where the government is viewed as a means to re-distribute wealth.

      • Dan

        If the interactions are voluntary, then free market advocates agree it is beneficial.

        • James Wherry

          Yes, but perversely, I agree with Micheal Moore in that I hate the mis-use of the term “socialism” by both the Left and the Right, when they are really talking about the “social welfare state.”

          I TOTALLY favor “socialist” businesses – businesses owned by the people who work them. I simply don’t think it works for larger businesses and there, unions are there to protect workers’ rights.

      • Jay F

        They know what conservative media tells them. That’s their depth of knowledge on socialism vs capitalism.

        • David Christian

          Is it working? then it’s socialism.

          Did it fail? then it wasn’t “real” socialism

    • James Wherry

      These are ridiculous claims. If I believe them, then any time that IRAN or SYRIA moves to restrict oil imports, they are trying to DESTROY American and Europe. Is that right? Please let me know.

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    • Richard Vineski

      The United States and Saudi Arabia did the same thing to the Soviet Union in the mid 1980’s. It was a major factor in the collapse of the economy of that country. Both the Soviet Union and Venezuela became dependent on cheap imported food,paid for by their sales of expensive oil. When the price collapsed, they couldn’t afford to keep buying it, and people went hungry. And revolted. Sometimes socialist governments can be stupid, but it’s not because they’r socialist. It’s because they are thinking like capitalists, that they should do everything as cheaply as possible, and damn the social consequences,.

    • amuncat

      I smelled a rat when Chavez was suddenly inflicted with an “aggressive” form of cancer. With the decrease in oil prices and Venezula having tons of it, set up for the USA/corporate formula!!! This is the way they take you down.

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    • Jason Barotz

      Of course this is everyone else’s fault. This government will never take any responsibility for the job it is supposed to do. There are hundreds of countries to do business with and you have oil currency leave the US out of it. Buy FOOD for your people. There is absolutely no proof the US has done anything to this country economically. The US doesn’t have to. The idiots in charge do a good enough job all on their own. In fact the US is one of the only countries that pays Venezuela for its oil. China is just loan payments. Cuba is I don’t know. Military and medical support? Just guessing.
      The writer of this article should move to Venezuela if he likes the government so much.
      The countries problems are of their own making. If you sell products below production costs you will have shortages and companies going out of business. The currency controls were a really bad idea economically and were done for corruption, control, and political purposes, but also create shortages.
      All you socialists should move to Venezuela. Hope you like waiting in lines for food if there is any. The military is now in charge of food distribution. Sound like democracy? All the people on here who think this is a conspiracy need to put down the crack pipes and take off their tin foil hats. The CIA can’t read your minds.

    • ThePatriotMuckraker

      More lies for the “alterna-tard” media. The “alternative media” is loaded with socialists in conservative and libertarian clothing.

      Questions:
      1) was Venezuela ruled by a dictator? Yes.
      2) Did Venezuela have a socialist economy and policies? YES. Was economy driven primarily by OIL? YES.
      3) After chavez died did Venezuela devolve into the mess that it is today? Yes.

      Well, that is the very definition of socialism/totalitarianism. No need for “western imperialism”, “corporations” and “it was the CIA” conspiracy theories. And, don’t come back at me with “you are a sheep”, “you believe what the media and government tells you.” Blah, blah, blah. those are all not arguments. The reality is the alternative media is biased against America, and is pro-russia / china. Only fools believe that outside of America the world is rational and governed by sane people. Communism never ended, it just got “re-branded” and put back on the shelf at a discount price.

      Btw, castro was worth $900 million dollars at the time of his death. Gee, the “alternative media” or MSM did not mention this. . .Gee, I wonder why. . .

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    • Cowboydroid

      Denial… Not just a river in Egypt.

    • Hugo Spinoso

      socialism works and it does help with poverty and innequality, as it did with venezuela, cuba and several others, and it has grow from the inequalities that capitalism has created,but it seems that the efficiency of socialism decreases as the population grows.

      the problem with socialism is that, as the population grows or the states adhreing to a centralized system , it starts to antagonize the people that it was helping as their only function is now withing a centralized party control, wich holds control of redistribution and security and leaves the people producing with no means to counterbalance this power, except from within the party itself, at the same time this centralized goverment has no way to counter balance itself and the power structures that will rise in it, creating corruption.

      So in the case of venezuela, attacking production and economic blockades will starve the system,, but then what will be result, corporate takeover?.

      • tapatio

        Corporate takeover is EXACTLY the goal of America’s economic warfare.

        • Socialism is Evil

          How about the goals of socialism which is to induce starvation and dire poverty? Venezuela is doing an excellent job of that, no economic war necessary. They are following the same foot steps as socialist North Korea and socialist Zimbabwe, both dying of self induced starvation.

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            Can you give a reference where socialism declares its goals to induce starvation and dire poverty? The article gives a good argument that those are the goals of capitalism.

            • Socialism is Evil

              The goals of socialism is meant to be good, but it doesn’t work. Instead of helping people as it is intended to do, the outcome of socialism is ALWAYS the EXACT OPPOSITE of its intention.

              • TecumsehUnfaced

                That’s because you are too gullible about dictators calling themselves socialists.

                • Socialism is Evil

                  Yes, like Hitler, the leader of the National Socialist German Worker Party? Strange how every famous dictator is a self declared socialist.

                  • TecumsehUnfaced

                    And how easily he seduces fools like you.

                    • Socialism is Evil

                      Hey, I never claimed to be socialist like you and Hitler.

                      • TecumsehUnfaced

                        Too stupid to be worth further attention.

                        You are blocked.

                • David Christian

                  So you’re saying there never have been any “real” socialists?

                  • TecumsehUnfaced

                    No.

                    • David Christian

                      Then where has it been successful?

                    • David Christian

                      Then please tell me where these hidden gems of socialism have been hiding? Is it Cuba? North Korea?

            • David Christian

              Can you give a reference where socialism worked?

              • TecumsehUnfaced

                From whose perspective? The lower 90% by income? Or the upper .01% by income? Sabotaged or unsabotaged?

                • David Christian

                  Let’s start at the country level. Any country.

                  Who sabotaged the currency in Venezuela causing 700% inflation? You are forbidden from answering this question.

                  • TecumsehUnfaced

                    Don’t like honest answers blowing away your childish mendacity, do you?

                    I looked at the way you defecated all over the thread. Amusing demonstration of bad trolling.

                    • David Christian

                      what answers?

                      • TecumsehUnfaced

                        Where you defecated? You made it harder to find them on purpose, didn’t you?

                      • David Christian

                        Logic is hard for some folks. Not everybody was meant to be a thinker. But hey, The world needs minimum wage workers.

          • TeeJae

            What’s happening in Venezuela is in NO WAY self-induced. Stop believing the corporate media lies. The Venezuelan people, as well as the people in other nationalist-leaning Latin American countries, are suffering as a result of external Western capitalist forces. Period. Did you not even read this article? Pull your head out of the sand and take a good look around.

            • ThePatriotMuckraker

              More lies.

              Questions:

              1) was Venezuela ruled by a dictator? Yes.

              2) Did Venezuela have a socialist economy and policies? YES. Was economy driven primarily by OIL? YES.

              3) After chavez died did Venezuela devolve into the mess that it is today? Yes.

              Well, that is the very definition of socialism/totalitarianism. No need for “western imperialism”, “corporations” and “it was the CIA” conspiracy theories. And, don’t come back at me with “you are a sheep”, “you believe what the media and government tells you.” Blah, blah, blah. those are all not arguments. The reality is the alternative media is biased against America, and is pro-russia / china. Only fools believe that outside of America the world is rational and governed by sane people. Communism never ended, it just got “re-branded” and put back on the shelf at a discount price.

              Btw, castro was worth $900 million dollars at the time of his death. Gee, the “alternative media” or MSM did not mention this. . .Gee, I wonder why. . .

              • paz_y_justicia

                Don’t tell Castro that he’s dead, the surprise might just kill him.

            • jgarcia_ca

              When the price of oil was in the $100s/ barrel, Venezuela benefited from those same money hungry capitalist for driving up the price. No complains there until oil prices fall. The truth is, Chavez gave away oil to the Caribbean countries and heavily subsidized the prices for Venezuelans. There is no excuse but to blame the president Chavez/Maduro. Their socialist ideas only won them votes. They made sure that schools, hospitals, housing..had their photo and signature dedicated in their names. This is how you brainwash people into believing you are doing good deeds but in fact destoying the country. Socialism in practice it’s a ticking time bomb because the economy is tanking. A country has to rely on commerce to prosper and not nationalizing over 1000 corporations because it believes they are out there to rob the country. Let me ask you, were those corporations employing Venezuelans who in turn spent money back into the economy? Wake up or go live in Venezuela because I did.

            • Socialism is Evil

              http://www.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/ is the largest newspaper in Venezuela. Read the comments there from Ordinary Venezuelans (use Google Spanish to English translator if you need to). I have read hundreds of them and can tell you well over 95% of the comments believe Venezuela’s economic problems are caused by the Bolivarian Socialist Revolution and NOT the external capitalist forces of the West. The only people who believe in conspiracy theories are the leftist in rich countries like yourself. Ordinary Venezuelans do not.

            • David Christian

              Please explain how Western capitalism caused 700% inflation in Venezuela. Did they hack the currency printer? Why would they hook that printer up to the internet?

            • David Christian

              Supply and demand is at the heart of capitalism. There is a reason they call it the LAW of supply. It’s like the LAW of gravity. You can pretend it doesn’t exist, but then will die. That’s what caused the drop in oil prices. And that’s what causing the soaring food costs in Venezuela.

              If socialists knew anything about economics, they would not be socialists.

              But to fair, Maduro is a great bus driver.

              • TeeJae

                If we were talking pure capitalism, then fine. But we’re not. The US practices predatory capitalism, especially with regard to South American countries. And at the root of that practice is greed and corruption.

                You clearly still have a lot to learn about the US (CIA) role in countries like Venezuela, Brazil, Honduras, etc, that seek sovereignty from US hegemony.

                • David Christian

                  I know all about US intervention in South America going back 150 years. The USA did some pretty evil stuff, over and over again. Here, I will help you understand why oil prices dropped.

                  Are you saying the USA controls the price of oil? They don’t.

                  ristian13 hours ago
                  By your response, I can tell that you are intelligent, So I will respond in kind.

                  Oil prices prices have went up and down since they pulled the first barrel out of the ground. It’s called the law of supply and demand. There is a reason they call it a law, like gravity. Some socialist governments, like Venezuela, choose to ignore the law of supply and demand. That’s why they have price controls on gas, food, medicine etc. Venezuela can pretend gravity does not exist, but it will always lead to death. What goes up, must come down.To believe in the perpetual rise in price of any commodity, shows a lack of understanding of this key concept.

                  Here are the members of Opec – Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

                  Unfortunately for OPEC, the United States produces more oil than any of them. Venezuela is the 12th largest producer of oil in the world, and dropping fast (they are producing less than they did 13 years ago.) You also must consider other oil EXPORTING countries such as Russia, UK, China, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Kazakhstan, Columbia, India, Oman, Argentina, Malaysia, Egypt, Australia, Thailand, Vietnam, Turkmenistan, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan and South Sudan, Congo, Gabon, Peru, Denmark, Italy, Germany, South Africa, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Brunei, Chad, Guatemala, Bolivia, Zimbabwe and about a dozen more.

                  When the narrative for a conspiracy contains 30+ countries, thousands of companies, and potentially millions of people who are acting against their own best interest, Occam’s Razor must be considered. The simplest explanation is that commodity prices change, like they always have done since the beginning of commerce, and always will continue to do.

                  The USA is a “free-market” economy. When stuff makes economic sense, people are free to get involved, and make money. When it does not make sense, they are free to try something else. When oil prices went above $100 bbl, smart entrepreneurs figured out how to get more oil from the ground. Now the price has dropped, they are free to leave it in the ground, or not. The Federal Government owns no shares in oil companies, and does not mandate that any company continue to produce oil even though it does not make sense for them. There are literally tens of thousands of independent producers in the USA alone.

                  Is your assertion that all of these countries, companies, and people went against their own best interest to defeat Venezuela?

                  • TeeJae

                    Comparing oil price fluctuations with the law of gravity is an interesting analogy, but an apples-to-oranges comparison. Gravity is a natural law that cannot be corrupted by human greed. Oil, on the other hand, is a commodity, the supply of which is artificially manipulated to increase profits for the fossil fuel industry (and/or for political purposes when deemed prudent).

                    So again, we’re not talking about pure, unadulterated economics/capitalism. The “invisible hand of the free market” is a myth; propaganda meant to keep people in the dark about what goes on behind the curtain (like manipulating supply, undercutting competition, writing corporate-friendly legislation, and providing taxpayer-funded corporate welfare/subsidies).

                    But based on your comments, you come across as either very naïve or a paid propaganda troll; neither of which will convince those of us who have followed this issue, via independent sources, for years.

                    • David Christian

                      Calling me a troll won’t help your argument. You’re smarter than that. OPEC’s stated goal is to manipulate supply. They are are cartel. They have been manipulating the supply for 50 YEARS. Venezuela is currently trying to manipulate supply by asking every other oil exporting to limit output. They won’t do it, because they will LOSE MARKET SHARE to non-opec countries who won’t limit output. OPEC is meeting this month to discuss whether to limit supply.

                      Here is what you are saying:

                      Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran, UAE, Iraq, Nigeria, Kuwait, Angola, Norway, Libya, Qatar, Canada and Mexico (along with about a dozen more countries), tens of thousands of oil companies are all cutting their own throats and conspiring to stick it to Venezuela.

                      This is a monumental conspiracy theory that does not hold up to scrutiny. A more reasonable explanation is that the oil market is crazy and erratic, like it always has been.

                      • TeeJae

                        I am saying… what I said. Don’t put words in my mouth. And don’t think your straw man argument will work either. The article (which I suggest you go back and read) is about Venezuela’s economy, only a portion of which pertains to their oil supply.

                        A more “reasonable” explanation? Despite mainstream media trying to make it seem so, there’s nothing reasonable about US hegemony.

                      • David Christian

                        You said the price of oil is being manipulated by the USA. Here i will help you by copying what you wrote.

                        “Oil, on the other hand, is a commodity, the supply of which is artificially manipulated to increase profits for the fossil fuel industry (and/or for political purposes when deemed prudent).”

                        So are you still saying USA is “artificially manipulating” the price of oil? Or do you want to change your tune?

                      • TeeJae

                        Thanks for refuting your own argument, so that I don’t have to.

                      • David Christian

                        How did I refute my argument? Nice try. Thanks for playing.

                      • David Christian

                        You can’t refute my argument. I guess that’s why you stopped trying. Facts are brutal huh?

                      • David Christian
                      • David Christian

                        How is it American hegemony when Venezuela’s economy fails. All socialist economies fail. USA buys 75% of venezuelan exports. We buy as much as they ship, no restrictions. Should we stop?

                      • TeeJae

                        Again, your comments reflect your naïveté. Stop believing what the mainstream media tells you, and do your own research.

                      • David Christian

                        Would you believe the state news media of Venezuela? If so, then here you go.

                        http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Chavismo-Must-Stop-the-Economic-Bleeding-20160719-0039.html

        • jgarcia_ca

          That is what Maduro keeps telling it’s people. He did not manage the country well, period. In concept socialism sounds like an etopian society but in practice it does not function. There will always be corrupt officials that take advantage of the socalist system. You can blame the gringos and capitalist but guess which country has been bailing them out…China. Almost all appliances are made in China, so I guess blame the Chinese too. You can only hold Maduro responsible for venezuela’s problems, just like you would hold any CEO of a company.

          • tapatio

            Just like you could hold the rulers of Iran, Chile, Iraq, Libya, Nicaragua, Vietnam and other countries “responsible” for the collapse of their countries/cultures?

            The cartel of predatory capitalists that controls Washington is responsible for more death and destruction than ANY other force in the lsat 2000 years.

            • David Christian

              20 Million dead from USSR. 20 Million dead in “Great Leap Forward” in China.

              Please show how capitalism killed 40 million… I will wait.

              • tapatio

                Since you were too stupid to read another comment of mine, to which you responded, there is no motive to think that you are bright enough to read a response from me. But, I will post it anyway.
                Rothschild-Bilderberg Criminal Bankster Cartel’s sponsorship of the Bolshevik-Communist “Revolution”.
                Karl Marx was Jewish and both he and Friedrich Engels had connections to the Rothschild banking family. There is a great deal more evidence that the Rothschilds sponsored the Bolshevik “Revolution” and the slaughter of over fifty million Christian (with some Muslim) Russians. There were almost no Jewish victims of this genocide.

                Letters written by Baruch Levy, a close associate of the
                Rothschild family, and by Lev Trotsky/Bronstein…..
                “The Jewish people as a whole will become its own Messiah. It will attain world domination by the dissolution of other races, by the abolition of frontiers, the annihilation of monarchy and by the establishment of a world republic in which the J6ws will everywhere exercise the privilege of citizenship.
                In this New World Order, the children of Israel will furnish all the leaders without encountering opposition. The Governments of the different peoples forming the world republic will fall without difficulty into the hands of the J6ws. It will then be possible for the J6wish rulers to abolish private property and everywhere to make use of the resources of the state.
                Thus will the promise of the Talmud be fulfilled, in which it is said that when the Messianic time is come, the J6ws will have all the property of the whole world in their hands.”

                –Baruch Levy, Letter to Karl Marx (written – 1879), printed in La Revue de Paris, p. 574, June 1, 1928

                “We should turn Russia into a desert populated with white Ni**ers. We will impose upon them such a tyranny that was never dreamt by the most hideous despots of the East. The peculiar trait of that tyranny is that it will be enacted from the left rather than the right and it will be red rather than white in color. Its color will be red literally because we would spill such torrents of blood that they will pale all human losses of the capitalist wars and make (the survivors) shudder.
                THE LARGEST OVERSEAS BANKS WILL COOPERATE WITH US MOST CLOSELY (Rothschild Cartel, which financed the Bolsheviks). If we win the Revolution and squash Russia, on the funeral pyres of its remains we will strengthen thepower of Zionism and become a power the whole world would drop in the face of on its knees. We will show (to the world) what real power means. By way of terror and blood baths we will bring the Russian intelligentsia into a state of total stupor, to idiocy, to the animal state of being…. And so far our young men dressed in leather – the sons of watch repair men from Odessa and Orsha, Gomel and Vinnitza – oh, how beautifully, how brilliantly do they master hatred of everything Russian!
                With what a great delight do they physically destroy the Russian intelligentsia ~ officers, engineers, teachers, priests, generals, agronomists, academicians, writers!”
                ~ Leib Bronstein (also known as Lev TROTSKY)
                Few in the world today are aware that the original leadership of the Bolshevik-Communist “Revolution” was almost entirely Jewish and VERY FEW WERE RUSSIAN.
                *************
                Everything below was taken from Wikipedia and verified through at least one other source………….
                Leaders of the Bolshevik/Communist “Revolution” in Russia. These are the people who fomented this revolution and carried it out. After they had won, they embarked on a slaughter of 30 Million Russians, ALL Christians and a few Muslims. There were no known Jewish
                victims of this genocidal act.
                Leading Bolsheviks…….
                Vladimir Lenin (aka Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov) Russian, Jewish
                Lev Trotsky (aka Bronstein) Jewish
                Lazar M. Kaganovich Jewish (oversaw slaughter of
                30+ million Russian Christians and Muslims)
                Alexander Israel Helphand [aka “Parvus”] Jewish
                (helped Trotsky develop the theory of “permanent revolution.”)
                Avel Enukidze Jewish
                Mikhail Kalinin Jewish
                Nikolai Bukharin Jewish
                Mikhail Tomsky Jewish
                Mikhail Lashevich Jewish
                Lev Kamenev Jewish
                Yevgeni Preobrazhensky uncertain
                Leonid Serebryakov Jewish
                Vladimir Lenin Jewish
                Alexei Rykov Jewish
                Grigori Y. Sokolnikov Jewish
                Grigory Zinoviev [aka Apfelbaum; aka Radomyslsky
                Jewish
                Felix Dzherzhinsky Jewish
                (founder of Cheka/NKVD/KGB/etc)
                Lavrenti Beria Jewish
                (Turned Cheka/NKVD/KGB into a monster. Beria instigated the mass executions of the Katyn massacre)
                Yakov Sverdlov [aka Solomon] Jewish
                (supervised massacre of Czar’s family)
                Sergei M. Kirov Jewish
                (supervised party purges/executions of late 1930s – 20 million dead)
                Yakov Yurovsky Jewish
                (carried out massacre of Czar’s family)
                (other members of the Czar death squad: Goloshchekin, Syromolotov, Safarov, Voikov, Yurovsky……..all Jewish)
                Nikolai Bukharin Jewish
                Ilya Ehrenburg Jewish (Propaganda Minister)

                • David Christian

                  So what you’re saying is, that you know how to copy and paste? I’m very impressed. None of the people listed are in the employ of Venezuela.

                  • tapatio

                    Little “David Christian” with a WHOLE 17 days on Disqus, 58 comments and, WOWOWOWOW!!!, 21 upvotes appears – without ONE comment discussing – nothing in his comment history but ad hominem snarking at other users. And this clown, obviously, has some experience in trolling, given the phrasing of its comments.

                    http://wpmu.mah.se/nmict151group2/files/2015/01/8.jpg

                    • David Christian

                      Please provide a screenshot of any ad hominem attacks.

                      • TecumsehUnfaced

                        We’ll let you know. So far everything observed about you has been accurate.

                      • David Christian

                        I knew you could not provide any screenshots. You are forbidden from doing so.

                      • TecumsehUnfaced

                        You are a simpleton waste of time.

                        Blocked.

                      • David Christian

                        He wants to believe that a bus driver with a six grade education can manage a country successfully so bad.

                      • David Christian

                        Does it give you hope that you can be president someday?

                      • David Christian

                        Blocked yourself from providing screenshots, huh? Clever plan.

                    • David Christian

                      By the way, I live in a capitalist country, so I’m very happy.

                      • TecumsehUnfaced

                        Only if you are one of the ruling elite feasting on all the other.

                    • TecumsehUnfaced

                      I think he’s a friend of Wherry’s, a very close one.

                      • tapatio

                        Ya mean……..a frothy mix sort of friend? He does look a bit like he could be into boyz.

                    • David Christian

                      If I had know that logic and reason would make you mad, I would not have used it. I’m sorry you are upset, but I am a logical person.

      • David Christian

        Please provide an example of socialism working…I will wait

        • Hugo Spinoso

          it works in smaller societies, and is the natural response and has been the response to corporate takeover when national bussiness cant compete with monopolies.

          • David Christian

            Smaller societies? That like not a country, though right?

            • Hugo Spinoso

              yest the problem with socialism in larger societites or countries, is that everything is controlled by the party and thus the state and when it becomes faceless it will be impossible to know aboyt redistribution, equality labor etc, so the party is the first ones to pick, this problem is similar with capitalism and monopoly except that is not the estae but a similar faceless structure.

              • David Christian

                Well they appear to have surrendered to reason, logic, and sound economic theory. Venezuela just relaxed price controls to relieve the shortages.

              • David Christian

                Well Venezuela just surrendered to reason and sound economic theory. The government has relaxed price controls on foods and essentials. They had to do this, or else everyone was going to starve.

                • Hugo Spinoso

                  if you mean reduced tax on imports, this will not be of much help, it will just serve foreign bussiness wich might be those that were closed, so it seems pointless, a better strategy was to seize the factories, and reopen once the major shortages are dealt with.

                  if its from national products he should not have raised the prices but this might have been innevitable as less people produce and more people consume, and then has to be redistributed by the central goverment.

      • David Christian

        With capitalism, man exploits his fellow man. With socialism, the reverse is true.

    • cjleete

      The red-diaper waving socialists always claim that the US somehow sabotaged their utopia, therefore they failed, thousands starved, ad nauseum. An argument akin to a particularly dim and angry 10 year old child losing at monopoly and throwing the game pieces into the air in a fit of pique.

      • TecumsehUnfaced

        Do you work for the CIA directly, or one of its supported NGOs?

        • David Christian

          Yes, the CIA and the NGO’s caused the hyperinflation. Makes sense to me.

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            That was your idea. You say it makes sense. Tell us what they have been doing.

            • David Christian

              It doesn’t make sense to anybody. The practice of printing currency is always done BY THE RULING PARTY. In this case Chavez, and later Maduro.

              To be fair though, Maduro is a really excellent bus driver.

              • TecumsehUnfaced

                Out of curiosity your solution would be not to print any?

                • David Christian

                  No country ever printed their way to prosperity. They tried that in Zimbabwe.

    • Harry Nutzach

      That’s it…. blame everyone ELSE for your socialist cluster-f#ck. Foreign technology and investment was the only thing that made your sticky oil worth getting out of the ground in the first place. So you nationalize all those companies and steal their assets. Without them your oil production slips into the toilet and that was the only thing masking your failing socialist economy.

    • Sean H. Worthington

      Some people think the world is flat and if you show them picture from space they say it is just a conspiracy. Some say Socialism works but when you show the all the failures they think it’s a conspiracy. Its not worth arguing with these people.

      • Socialism is Evil

        You are right. Socialists are ignorant fools.

        • TecumsehUnfaced

          That was very foolish of you.

      • TecumsehUnfaced

        You don’t believe in conspiracies?

        • Socialism is Evil

          No I don’t. Conspiracies are an idiot’s solution to avoid the obvious.

          • TecumsehUnfaced

            No, avoiding the obvious conspiracy is an idiot’s solution for maintaining his dream world.

            • Cowboydroid

              The only “obvious” conspiracy here is the conspiracy by Maduro’s government to retain power, at all costs. The only problem is that it’s not much of a secret, which really doesn’t make it a conspiracy.

              Maduro is little more than a cartel leader who stumbled his way into an actual government.

              • TecumsehUnfaced

                Amazing that you are so quick to run to the idiot’s solution. You don’t read much, do you?

                Here’s a start. Come back when you’re ready for more.

                http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/02/17/venezuela-under-attack-again/

                https://www.popularresistance.org/modern-us-regime-change-operations-demonstrated-in-latin-america/

                • Cowboydroid

                  Maduro is the idiot proposing conspiracy theories that are unreasonable and frankly ridiculous. Any economist in the world can explain how price controls lead to shortages and inflating the money supply leads to price inflation. It doesn’t take foreign intervention to manufacture those ill economic effects. Maduro and his government are quite capable of that themselves.

                  • TecumsehUnfaced

                    So you didn’t read the references. Figures.

                    Was Allende an idiot in Chile? Was Arbenz an idiot in Guatemala? Was Castro an idiot in 1961?

                    • Cowboydroid

                      Your “references” are devoid of useful information. Just more mindless and baseless speculation based on fear instead of fact.

                      Is Maduro implementing price controls? Is he nationalizing factories and industries? Is he inflating the money supply?

                      • TecumsehUnfaced

                        Look up Operation Condor.

                      • Cowboydroid

                        Answer the questions.

                      • TecumsehUnfaced

                        Why? They are stupid questions. Answer them yourself, if you disagree.

                      • Cowboydroid

                        Is Maduro implementing price controls? YES
                        Is he nationalizing factories and industries? YES
                        Is he inflating the money supply? YES

                        This is all we need to know to understand the economic catastrophe in Venezuela. There’s no reason to believe an absurd conspiracy. You may ignore reality, but reality persists regardless.

                      • TecumsehUnfaced

                        No, they all are forced by from the economic attacks I’ve documented above.

                      • David Christian

                        Price controls have been in place since 2002, when Chavez first came to power.

                      • David Christian

                        I want to understand who caused the hyperinflation, and how. None of your links answer that question.

                      • TecumsehUnfaced

                        That’s because you didn’t read them. Besides, you already said the CIA and NGOs did it.

                      • David Christian

                        I read them weeks ago brother, and neither article mentions inflation. Please explain how CIA and NGO hacked the currency printing press? Why would they leave that printer hooked up to the internet?

                        I forbid you to make any intelligent response. You are only allowed to call names.

                      • TecumsehUnfaced

                        Intelligent responses destroy you. I understand why you hate them. Your claim of CIA and NGO hacking currency printing presses exhibits your level of debating. So here, read this, so you may start off with something sensible..

                        US-Led Economic War, Not Socialism, Is Tearing Venezuela Apart

                        Saudi efforts to drive down oil prices have drastically reduced Venezuela’s state budget and led to enormous consequences for the Venezuelan economy.

                        At the same time, private food processing and importing corporations have launched a coordinated campaign of sabotage.This, coupled with the weakening of a vitally important state sector of the economy, has resulted in inflation and food shortages. The artificially low oil prices have left the Venezuelan state cash-starved, prompting a crisis in the funding of the social programs that were key to strengthening the United Socialist Party.

                        https://www.popularresistance.org/us-led-economic-war-not-socialism-is-tearing-venezuela-apart/

                      • David Christian

                        The article ignores HYPERinflation. Inflation is usually around the 10-20% weakening of the currency. Hyperinflation is when you have something like a 700% devaluation. It is only caused by printing WAY too much currency. Even the USSR was not stupid enough to try and print their way to prosperity.

                        The Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela is over. There has already been a coup. It was done so quietly, and so slickly, the world did not even notice. The Military is now in charge of Venezuela.

                        https://sputniknews.com/latam/20160713/1042866130/venezuelan-army-seaport-food-shortages.html

                      • David Christian

                        The Military is now in Charge of food importation and distribution in Venezuela, and have been since Jul 12th. Thanks for playing.

                        http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/07/venezuelan-army-takes-food-distribution-services-160713041510705.html

                      • David Christian

                        Neither article has the word inflation in it. Go check, I will wait.

    • Raman

      Author says , Socialism will work smoothly if any country has a unlimited supply of commodity provided that commodity price can only fluctuate(?!) upwards. 🙂

      • TecumsehUnfaced

        No, that is not what the author said. Re-read the article.

    • Realista

      Social-Democracy without foreign intervention is what brought about the rise of the German people out of poverty to become the greatest nation while all the others were in depression, but their disengagement with the bankers led to war. The Elite´s were not pleased that Hitler had declined them and instead began printing his own money.

    • Thom Prentice

      The Facebook share comes up with the swastika image, not Chavez.

      • David Christian

        There you are Thom. Can you enlighten these rubes on the cause of 700% hyperinflation in Venezuela?

    • Pingback: Video of Venezuelans Crossing Colombian Border for Food and Medicine Goes Viral on Facebook - Latino USA()

    • roccolore

      Liberals blame everyone but tyrants Chavez and Maduro. The richest person in Venezuela is the daughter of Chavez.

    • Socialism is Evil

      This author’s view is further proof that socialism is indeed evil. Look at what Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, the Kim Jong Dynasty, Castro, Mugabe did to their countries, and you can see Chavez/Maduro is not far behind.

      • Thom Prentice

        Yeah, look t the 11 million Soviet soldiers who died winning World War II against Hitler which permitted the British, Freanch and US empires to flurish, succeed, rape, pillage, plunf=der and despoil. WHich the Soviets did NOT do.

      • Helga Fellay

        you are soooo clueless.

        • Socialism is Evil

          Seems like the clueless one is you. You believe in Socialism, the proven failed economic model that forces millions into dire poverty and starvation.

      • tapatio

        Evidence of the Jewish Rothschild-Bilderberg Criminal Bankster Cartel’s sponsorship of the Bolshevik-Communist “Revolution”. It’s interesting to note that Karl Marx was Jewish and both he and Friedrich Engels had connections to the Rothschild banking family. There is a great deal more evidence that the Rothschilds sponsored the Bolshevik “Revolution” and the slaughter of over fifty million Christian (with some Muslim) Russians. There were almost no Jewish victims of this genocidal act.
        Letters written by Baruch Levy, a close associate of the
        Rothschild family, and by Lev Trotsky/Bronstein…..
        “The Jewish people as a whole will become its own Messiah. It will attain world domination by the dissolution of other races, by the abolition of frontiers, the annihilation of monarchy and by the establishment of a world republic in which the J6ws will everywhere exercise the privilege of citizenship.
        In this New World Order, the children of Israel will furnish all the leaders without encountering opposition. The Governments of the different peoples forming the world republic will fall without difficulty into the hands of the J6ws. It will then be possible for the J6wish rulers to abolish private property and everywhere to make use of the resources of the state.
        Thus will the promise of the Talmud be fulfilled, in which it is said that when the Messianic time is come, the J6ws will have all the property of the whole world in their hands.”
        –Baruch Levy, Letter to Karl Marx (written – 1879), printed in La Revue de Paris, p. 574, June 1, 1928
        “We should turn Russia into a desert populated with white Ni**ers. We will impose upon them such a tyranny that was never dreamt by the most hideous despots of the East. The peculiar trait of that tyranny is that it will be enacted from the left rather than the right and it will be red rather than white in color. Its color will be red literally because we would spill such torrents of blood that they will pale all human losses of the capitalist wars and make (the survivors) shudder.
        THE LARGEST OVERSEAS BANKS WILL COOPERATE WITH US MOST CLOSELY (Rothschild Cartel, which financed the Bolsheviks). If we win the Revolution and squash Russia, on the funeral pyres of its remains we will strengthen thepower of Zionism and become a power the whole world would drop in the face of on its knees. We will show (to the world) what real power means. By way of terror and blood baths we will bring the Russian intelligentsia into a state of total stupor, to idiocy, to the animal state of being…. And so far our young men dressed in leather – the sons of watch repair men from Odessa and Orsha, Gomel and Vinnitza – oh, how beautifully, how brilliantly do they master hatred of everything Russian!
        With what a great delight do they physically destroy the Russian intelligentsia ~ officers, engineers, teachers, priests, generals, agronomists, academicians, writers!” ~ Leib Bronstein (also known as Lev TROTSKY)
        Few in the world today are aware that the original leadership of the Bolshevik-Communist “Revolution” was almost entirely Jewish and VERY FEW WERE RUSSIAN.
        *************
        Everything below was taken from Wikipedia and verified through at least one other source………….
        Leaders of the Bolshevik/Communist “Revolution” in Russia. These are the people who fomented this revolution and carried it out. After they had won, they embarked on a slaughter of 30 Million Russians, ALL Christians and a few Muslims. There were no known Jewish
        victims of this genocidal act.
        Leading Bolsheviks…….
        Vladimir Lenin (aka Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov) Russian, Jewish
        Lev Trotsky (aka Bronstein) Jewish
        Lazar M. Kaganovich Jewish (oversaw slaughter of
        30+ million Russian Christians and Muslims)
        Alexander Israel Helphand [aka “Parvus”] Jewish
        (helped Trotsky develop the theory of “permanent revolution.”)
        Avel Enukidze Jewish
        Mikhail Kalinin Jewish
        Nikolai Bukharin Jewish
        Mikhail Tomsky Jewish
        Mikhail Lashevich Jewish
        Lev Kamenev Jewish
        Yevgeni Preobrazhensky uncertain
        Leonid Serebryakov Jewish
        Vladimir Lenin Jewish
        Alexei Rykov Jewish
        Grigori Y. Sokolnikov Jewish
        Grigory Zinoviev [aka Apfelbaum; aka Radomyslsky
        Jewish
        Felix Dzherzhinsky Jewish
        (founder of Cheka/NKVD/KGB/etc)
        Lavrenti Beria Jewish
        (Turned Cheka/NKVD/KGB into a monster. Beria instigated the mass executions of the Katyn massacre)
        Yakov Sverdlov [aka Solomon] Jewish
        (supervised massacre of Czar’s family)
        Sergei M. Kirov Jewish
        (supervised party purges/executions of late 1930s – 20 million dead)
        Yakov Yurovsky Jewish
        (carried out massacre of Czar’s family)
        (other members of the Czar death squad: Goloshchekin, Syromolotov, Safarov, Voikov, Yurovsky……..all Jewish)
        Nikolai Bukharin Jewish
        Ilya Ehrenburg Jewish (Propaganda Minister)

        • Socialism is Evil

          Here we go again, left-wing nuts who justifies the starvation of millions through non-existent foolish conspiracy theories. No wonder Israel is so hard on the clueless idiots.

          • David Christian

            The only way to get through to a socialist is with a right-wing death squad.

      • TecumsehUnfaced

        This clown thinks that Hitler was a socialist. Wait until you see his silly reason.

    • Robert Harley

      What alternate universe is the author living in? Perhaps a month or three of actually living there would bring about some thoughts that are closer to reality.

      • Helga Fellay

        and I assume that you are living there and know all about it and are voting for Trump from there?

        • jgarcia_ca

          Yo viví en Venezuela y todavía tengo familia que viven en Caracas. Socialism does not provide an incentive for people to work. The basic forms of economy does not exist because everything is subsidized. What incentive does a business owner have when he can’t pay his employees. If you arent living in Venezuela or experienced the decline over the years, stop defending socialism. I do believe some social services are needed but there needs to be some balance.

          • Socialism is Evil

            Helga reminds me of socialist Pol Pot. The only thing she knows is to steal from hardworking people and believes they should be killed if they stop giving.

          • tapatio

            Hey, pendejo Garcia, te gustas a ser un meat-puppet por Gringolandia? Tal vez, los socialistas fueron tontos. Pero, hoy, tu pais es NADA mas que un esclavo de los judeos

            capitalista depredadora y de los EUA.

            • jgarcia_ca

              Tal vez pero al menos tengo trabajo y no me hace falta estar en cola para comprar comida. No estoy defendiendo los capitalistas pero socialismo total no funciona. Que motivos tienes para trabajar y avanzar si el gobieno te da todo o nada como está pasando en Venezuela. Pendejo por querer trabajar y disfrutar de mis labores?? Yo compro lo que quiero y pago mis taxes para tener los servicios sociales. No es perfecto pero esta mejor que Venezuela.

      • Socialism is Evil

        The author would never change his mind even when Venezuelans start dying of starvation like they do in socialist Zimbabwe and socialist North Korea.