Venezuela's poor join the march against socialism

The poor and downtrodden, the very people socialists claim to champion, are leading Venezuela's march ..  against socialism.  Both the Washington Post and Reuters see it as a turning point.

This would be the same socialism that has justified its lost freedoms, its expropriation of property, its redistribution of income and its tolerance of a government elite ... because it's to help the poor. The left defends this socialism, whether it's Michael Moore, or Oliver Stone or Naomi Campbell - all because of socialism's supposed good intention to help the poor.

Today, the poor are banging pots and throwing eggs at the hated regime. The Post notes in its piece on the new development, citing the man who brought Venezuela to its shambles, the late Hugo Chavez:

Chávez, a master showman who promised his country a socialist “revolution,” loved to wade through crowds of poor Venezuelans, blowing kisses and dispensing hugs. But when his successor has ventured out in public in recent months, he’s been pelted with eggs and chased by angry mobs. 

“Maduro is so different,” said Irene Castillo, 26, who lives in El Guarataro, a tough neighborhood not far from the presidential palace. She voted for Maduro in 2013 when Chávez died after 14 years in power. But no one on Castillo’s block supports the government anymore, she said. “Now, those who remain ‘chavistas’ are just the radicals.”

Like the lady said, all that are left now are 'just radicals.'

Her remark underlines that socialism has never been about helping the poor. Capitalism is what helps the poor, any Cato study can show this, or the experience of Chile, which successfully transitioned from socialism to capitalism provides the proof of the pudding. A look at China since its economic reforms beginning in 1976 shows the reality, too. Socialism is about empowering an elite and taking over every single facet of the poor and powerless' lives, all in the name of 'helping them.'.

It's true that the poor and indigent have often voted for socialists in the name of free stuff. But it leads them to grief, destroying every chance possible of climbing out of poverty so long as socialism is in the saddle. Chavez brought socialism to Venezuela but he left the poor worse off than ever. At the same time, his own surviving family members remain billionaires (Chavez's daughter Maria Gabriela is Venezuela's richest woman), and his Castroite patrons over in Cuba, remain grotesque plutocrats.

As for the poor, they are left with just protest as their weapon and that comes at considerable risk and brutality. The Post reports:

But Venezuelans from longtime chavista strongholds are starting to join them, at considerable risk. Residents of Castillo’s neighborhood protested openly against Maduro for the first time last week.

Pro-government block captains in neighborhoods like El Guarataro have responded by threatening to deny food rations to those who march with the opposition or fail to join pro-Maduro rallies. Militia groups armed by the government and known as “colectivos” are deployed to intimidate would-be defectors and are suspected in the deaths of several protesters. 

The Post notes that those were the ones still strong enough to protest, or the ones not to preoccupied looking for food. Any questions as to what socialism fails every time looks like/ We hope the Post is right that this really is a turning point.


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