They're still in the dark in Venezuela, and it's really ugly

Socialism has always been about putting a society in a state of war — from the war pronouncements of its leaders yelling revolution to the socialist shortages otherwise seen only in wartime to the socialist efforts to turn neighbor against neighbor, both from class warfare and internal spies for the regime.

In Venezuela, there's a new front — the equivalent of an EMP attack, an attack on all the people, based on the massive and unprecedented electrical blackout still covering the country.

The Washington Post's thorough report on the matter is horrifying.

CARACAS, Venezuela — One of the severest power outages in Venezuelan history ravaged the country for a second day Friday, with hospital patients languishing in the dark, most supermarkets closed and phone service largely knocked out in the oil-rich but economically collapsing country. 

Venezuela, which has been roiled by a political struggle between President Nicolás Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaidó, has been hit by outages before.  But the blackout that began Thursday evening is the longest and most widespread in recent memory, a sign of the rapid deterioration of the economy, which is expected to contract sharply in the next few weeks as U.S. sanctions on the oil industry begin to bite.  Some analysts even worry that the country — once among the richest in South America — could face famine.

If you can imagine what an EMP attack would be like, this is it.  The phones don't work.  The ATMs and banks don't work, so there is no access to money.  The internet doesn't work.  The refrigerators don't work, so the food is spoiling.  The subways don't work, so there is no going to one's job.  The generators are failing at hospitals as staff struggle to keep them going and the patients are already dying.  The preemies are losing their incubators.  Nobody can get the doctors on the phone.  The transport isn't working, and food is running out.  The water isn't working, no water from the faucet, too bad if you get thirsty.  The schools are all closed.  And much of the staff with the expertise to fix the system have fled the country, while the money that could be used to hire someone from the U.S. or someplace similar to make the repairs has been stolen.

These reports describe the terrible conditions in just Caracas — in the rest of the country, the situation is reportedly far, far worse.  And yes, the result looks as though it's going to be famine.

And coincidence of coincidences, it comes just as dictator Nicolas Maduro is under fire from millions and millions of Venezuelans to get out and allow acting president Juan Guaidó, who's there through democratic mechanisms, to take over.  Guaidó returned to the country last week without much fuss and says he's calling for protests, and now the blackout has followed.  The internet has been shut off, and the subways are out.  Both of those things are instrumental in getting word out of protests and transporting protestors to locations.  Shut.  Down.  How very convenient for Maduro.  And by another coincidence, Maduro has had high-level contacts with Russians in recent weeks — and the Russians just happen to be the masters of blowing out power grids.  Richard Fernandez has some excellent insights about this matter here.

Yes, it's all circumstantial to suggest that the socialist regime did this to itself.  Surely, it was just incompetence, of which they are very capable.  Or maybe the gringos, as Maduro claims.  But if you look at who benefits from this vast power outage, it's obviously Maduro, who wants to stay in power at any cost.  What's more, the socialist Chavista regime, as it exists today, has always had an unusual fascination with controlling the electrical system, dating back decades, as this tweet illustrates.  And if you look at Maduro's heroes, who include the Castro brothers, the mullahs of Iran, and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, it's pretty obvious that the one thing they all have in common is their longevity in power through starving their populations into submission.  Would Maduro, backed into a corner by angry Venezuelans led by Guaidó, be capable of this?  You bet he would.

Most of us don't want this, but the case rises for a U.S. Marine invasion to hose that socialist hellhole out.  No regime should be allowed to blow out an entire country's modern infrastructue either through its own incompetence or by design, blame the yankees, and then starve their subjects into submission as a means of retaining power. No one. 

Image credit: Twitter screen grab.