Venezuela's Decline

CAL THOMAS COMMENTARY AUGUST 1, 2017

         ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION TO WHAT IS HAPPENING IN VENEZUELA? YOU SHOULD. IT MAY BE THIS HEMIPSPHERE’S LAST GASP OF SOCIALISM-COMMUNISM.

         VENEZUELA HELD A FAKE ELECTION SUNDAY THAT DELIVERED MORE POWER TO DICTATOR NICOLAS MADURO. THE GOVERNMENT CLAIMED MORE THAN 41 PERCENT OF ELIGIBLE VOTERS TURNED OUT -- WHICH THE OPPOSITION BOYCOTTED AND DISPUTES -- TO SELECT FROM A SLATE OF CANDIDATES, ALL OF WHOM BACKED A CONSTITUTIONAL ASSEMBLY GIVING MADURO NEARLY UNLIMITED POWERS. THE CANDIDATES INCLUDED MADURO’S WIFE AND SON.

         FOOD IS RUNNING OUT IN VENEZUELA, AS ARE OTHER BASIC NEEDS. PREDICTABLY, MADURO BLAMED “IMPERIALISTS,” A LABEL LEFTOVER FROM THE COLD WAR.

         THE U.S. HAS PLENTY ON ITS PLATE – FROM RUSSIAN EXPULSION OF NEARLY HALF ITS DIPLOMATS IN RETALIATION FOR SANCTIONS, TO MORE IMMINENT THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA AND IRAN’S PURSUIT OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS. BUT WHAT’S HAPPENING IN VENEZUELA OUGHT TO BE A LESSON TO THE REST OF CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA THAT HAS FLIRTED WITH SOCIALISM AND COMMUNISM. THOSE SYSTEMS ARE DYING. UNFORTUNATELY, SO ARE TOO MANY PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN LIVING UNDER THEM. I’M CAL THOMAS IN WASHINGTON.