I came across this a few days ago but it’s still timely and relevant. A group called Freedom Partners, which Wikipedia tells me is a chamber of commerce group partially funded by the Koch brothers, put together this excellent seven minute video which describes the history of government corruption and socialism that led to Venezuela’s current “downward spiral.”

Narrator Erick Brimen, who is Venezuelan, describes how Hugo Chavez first appeared on the scene as a solution to the corruption of the previous government and then began nationalizing businesses on a whim and slowly solidifying his control over the nation’s media.

Could something like this happen here? “Venezuela had a democracy, constitution, you know, division of power in government but people were not educated in the principles of freedom and they vote for whoever promises more,” Brimen says.

Venezuela’s democracy is on life support at this point. The socialists jailed one of the opposition’s outspoken leaders, Leopoldo Lopez, on trumped up charges in 2014. Despite this the opposition party was able to take over the National Assembly in elections last December. But the ruling socialists packed the country’s Supreme Court with cronies who immediately undo any changes the newly elected representatives try to make.

The opposition has also tried to push for a referendum that could remove socialist President Maduro from office but the government has responded by accusing the opposition of fraud and threatening to have the party banned. Meanwhile the country has a triple-digit rate of inflation which has tens of thousands of people crossing the border into Colombia with huge rolls of cash just to go grocery shopping.

It takes a long time for a country to reach this level of dysfunction but the path is pretty clear. It’s the path of government corruption and socialist demagoguery.