Living like a Chavez
Hugo Chavez died a few years ago. He left us President Nicolás Maduro running Venezuela and an estate that his offspring is gladly spending.
Living like a Chavez is fun, as we see in this report about a maverick Venezuelan legislator who wants to talk about the family wealth. It is not easy, but Wilmer Azuaje, a state legislator, is persistent:
His campaign to highlight how the Chavez clan has enriched itself has plenty of sympathisers in Barinas, a poor town which sits humid agricultural plains 300 miles southwest of Caracas in one of Venezuela's regions.
Here the late-president's family owns 17 country estates, totalling more than 100,000 acres, in addition to liquid assets of $550 million (£360 million) stored in various international bank accounts, according to Venezuelan news website Noticias Centro.
While ordinary Venezuelans suffer growing food shortages and 23 per cent inflation, the Chavez family trades in US dollars that now fetch four times the official bank rate on the black market.
Living in numerous mansions in Alto Barinas, the city's most affluent district, the family and their children live a life of privilege, says Mr Azuaje, whose wife left him to marry into wealth and now lives next to the Chavez mansions.
"My daughter goes to school with the Chavez kids", he explained. "She told me that the school dining hall has waiting staff to serve and clean up after the kids".
Great story, but not surprising.
We see something similar in Cuba, as the Castro family has accumulated a lot of wealth, too.
In both Cuba and Venezuela, we see socialists who became very rich by creating a corrupt system where everyone has to pay their contribution to the government.
What amazes me is that U.S. liberals go down to Cuba and Venezuela and embrace these people. We can only conclude that the liberal visitors are blind or just ignorant, or maybe both.