MSNBC contributor admits a hard truth: In Venezuela, arms ownership matters
Socialist Venezuela is spiraling into chaos and violence, according to news reports. What we are really seeing is defenseless citizens trying to fight a dictatorship not with firepower, but with their hands. Venezuela's democrats have no guns. The dictatorship they're fighting, however, is armed to the teeth, and it's using those arms with little to fear from the citizens.
With this result:
And these pictures.
The Getty photos show Venezuelans trying to set military equipment on fire by hand, as well equipped, organized Venezuelan troops fire right into the crowds, and militarized police forces hunt down protesters with rifles. It's not easy fighting that.
An MSNBC contributor let the cat out of the bag about the arms imbalance and the ugly reality that Venezuela has no Second Amendment.
And here's why one is needed:
Venezuelans have been at this for decades.
Socialism has destroyed their country, because socialism doesn't work. The change was not just in some bad move that happened yesterday, but slowly and erosively like acid eating at stone. The early years saw socialist property expropriations and redistributions, as well as the politicization of the country's oil industry. The country's investment environment was ruined by expropriatory laws, isolating it from any progress. The courts were corrupted with cronyism and the legislature was neutralized with a new so-called 'constitutional' legislature above it. The press was shut down — by all kinds of means — from denying access to newsprint to forced sales by socialist cronies, to invented charges against news barons. There also was simple violence against the press, too — when I was in Caracas in late 2005, the staff of then-independent Globovision showed me the bullet holes in the walls where armed Chavista motorcycle thugs shot up the reception area. The money was corrupted, and price controls went in, and the massive shortages, poverty, and refugee flight resulted. Cuban police state oppressors were brought in and put in charge of the passport and electoral system. And amid so many socialist outrages, the right to bear arms was quietly taken away.
Elections don't work: socialist dictator Maduro very obviously cheated on his last one, and fraud-filled elections have been going on since at least 2004. When states such as Italy say they won't support Venezuela's democrats because they want new elections, all one can ask is, where have they been? The first corruption of elections, something that was almost certainly the case during the 2004 recall referendum on Venezuela's Hugo Chávez, and every successive election, got worse. By the time Nicolás Maduro re-elected himself in 2018, it was so bad that even people abroad could see it — a few pariah-tyrants abroad liked it, but most nations from the civilized world refused to recognize the sham.
Dialogue doesn't work. Pope Francis's bid to get dialogue going around 2017 was a complete bust — and ended up buying time for the regime. Even the pope seems to know how bad it was — he declined to do more 'dialogue' in 2019.
Peaceful protests don't work. Venezuela has seen millions-strong protests dating from at least 2004 — with very big ones in 2007, 2013, 2015...and none of them has mattered.
Sanctions don't work. The place is a shambles anyway, so sanctions don't make much difference. Worse still, with many of Venezuela's ruling oligarchs now getting their money from narcotics-trafficking, sanctions are meaningless to them. Illegality is baked into the pie.
Foreign allies don't work. Venezuela has a lot of neighbors willing to offer diplomatic and moral support to its democratic protesters — and not a one is willing to send troops. The U.S. could easily do it, but faces high costs, casualties, and the risk of a nation-building morass, as well as long decades of leftist propaganda afterward about 'yanqui imperialismo.' The public support is not there for it. Worst of all, the U.S. faces a great-power confrontation with the dictatorship's determined allies such as Russia, which is there to defend Maduro.
All that's left is force of arms, and now Venezuelans don't have them.
What's scary here is that tyrants such as Chávez and Maduro know very well how arms ownership works and why a Second Amendment works.
Not only did they take away Venezuelans' right to bear arms, but they armed up their own side in these things.
Remember when Chavez purchased 100,000 rifles from Russia in 2006? Here's also an excellent report from the New York Times' C.J. Chivers on the specialized kind of arming up the Chavistas were doing in 2007. You cannot read this now without getting the creeps, because obviously, the Chavistas were preparing for this day — to repress Venezuela's democrats in an uprising
Remember also that Chávez trained the "colectivos" who are the motorcycle thugs who shoot into crowds and terrorize the poor in the slums.
And recall also that this year, defecting Venezuelan troops to Colombia have stated that a lot of troops are holding back from defecting...because even they don't have access to arms. "We need arms," the defecting troops told the Colombians.
This is as ugly a picture as anyone can imagine. It shows a very scary fact that America's gun-grabbers fail to recognize: taking away arms doesn't take away a legitimate need to fight. It just means one will have to fight with one's hands when the only alternative there is is to fight.
Venezuelans are facing that choice now. Fight with your hands and maybe die, or die for sure of socialist starvation. They have to fight. What a sad thing to see that they lost their right to fight with the same battle advantage as their socialist oppressors.
Image credit: VOA/Reuters via Shareable YouTube screen shot.