Castro, Bolivian president meet as Venezuela goes further into chaos

Fidel Castro and Bolivian President Evo Morales are meeting, not to figure out if they can help ally Venezuelan ally Nicolas Maduro, but on how to stop what they call “imperialist efforts” to destabilize Latin America. Via Reuters:

Two major powers in the region have moved to the right in recent months. Argentina’s Peronists were voted out of office late last year while in Brazil, Dilma Rousseff of the Workers Party was suspended as president earlier this month due to impeachment.

Leftist countries such as Cuba have called Rousseff’s suspension a “coup” while the president of El Salvador went as far as to say he would not recognize the centrist interim government.

Morales and Castro spoke “of the events happening in Latin America and the imperialist efforts to revert the political and social movement in our region,” state television reported. No images of the encounter were shown.

It’s totally obvious the U.S. is behind all the chaos in Venezuela where it now costs $170 for a hamburger. It has nothing to do with Maduro’s seizing of power, his promise to make the legislature “disappear,” and getting his allies to shut down subway stations to keep anti-Maduro folks from marching in the streets. Yes…totally the fault of the United States. Please note my sarcasm because I don’t believe the U.S. is to blame for any of the problems in Venezuela. One economic analyst told The Telegraph Venezuela’s chaotic situation is because the socialists kept spending and spending (emphasis mine).

Oil accounts for 98pc of total exports and 59pc of fiscal revenues, but [IHS senior political risk analyst Diego] Moya-Ocampos says the price slide isn’t the country’s only problem.

“Even under Chavez and $100 a barrel oil, debt was rapidly rising and there were already food shortages,” he says, “This is ultimately to do with an interventionist model that is not sustainable and has reached a tipping point.”

The leftists who adhere to socialism aren’t going to listen to this because they believe government spending is good. But Venezuela should be used as a cautionary tale for those who are insistent on MOAR GOVERNMENT all the time. There’s a big chance for those who want to see free markets succeed in Venezuela because the people living there don’t care about government, they just want basic necessities. Via The Guardian:

“We don’t care who’s in Miraflores,” said Marlene Pineda who runs a newsstand in Caracas, referring to the presidential palace. “What we want is food,” she says reflecting the sentiment of many Venezuelans far removed from politics who are struggling to get by day to day.

“Food is what moves people,” says Carlos Perdomo, who sells unrefined sugarloaves known as papelón in an area called Samán where protesters congregated on Tuesday.

The black market is big in Venezuela, which is honestly a type of free market because it bases things on their actual value (not on some arbitrary figure created by the government). There’s also the idea of a bartered economy, where individuals trade different goods for other goods, but things are so bad in the country non-essential items are just that: non-essential. It just depends on what happens when Venezuela falls apart, and how the people decide to go when it comes to who their next leaders will be. This is why free market adherents need to be willing to go into Venezuela once the system crashes. They can be a guide for a people that are trying to survive, and a watchdog when it comes to corruption. It’s possible the guide is a copy of FA Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom or Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, or similar free market-proponent books and philosophies. But this is the only way Venezuela can go from a “socialist paradise” (not sarcasm) to a free market paradise.

But it also means being on guard whenever corruption starts to rear its ugly head. Russia had the chance to go into a free market system, but descended into statism when Vladimir Putin came into power. The U.S. has seen its own free market go from an actual “free market” to one that benefits those who have enough graft to get politicians to bend to their wills and enough politicians who desire to use the government as a hammer to beat industry down into submission. Those who prefer the free market have to be willing to raise their voices when this stuff starts happening and, more importantly, provide a clear message showing the alternative. This is why Hugo Chavez was able to take over Venezuela. His message was that of fixing inequality through the power of the state, and those who believed in free markets had no counter. It’s a long-term battle which isn’t going to stop until the end of time, but it’s one worth fighting both here and abroad. This way Fidel Castro and Evo Morales’ claims of an “imperialist conspiracy” fall on deaf ears, because no conspiracy actually exists.

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David Strom 3:21 PM on March 24, 2023