And in The Guardian Too!

\”Never again should you have to show a Socialist party membership card to access a social programme,\” Capriles says in his stump speech, invariably bringing the house down. The line hits home because every person in the audience knows someone who has been shut out of access to the latest oil bonanza for ideological deviance.

Not the way to consolidate political power of course but what\’s remarkable is that this is published in The Guardian.

14 comments on “And in The Guardian Too!

  1. It is the Guardian. They probably agree. Because half of them think no one in their right mind could disagree with Socialism and the other half thinks that anyone who does should be liquidated or sent to perform hard labour north of the Arctic Circle.

    Either way, leaving no one else to collect social programmes.

  2. Venezuela must fear the mustachioed men with Uzi’s running any ‘privatisation’ program. In tandem with a democratic loosening of state control must go an independent and protected judiciary capable of enforcing a justice that’s fair and seen to be fair. One has no further to look than Russia to see what happens without an independent justice system.

  3. I feel sorry for the population.

    Here we have the perfect example with what is wrong with centrally-planned economies, with the worst excesses of crony socialism.

    To my woolly leftie friends (and I have many, and I care just as much about what happens to people), argue your way out of that one. He has an oil bonanza you couldn’t believe and still f**ks up monumentally, truly destroying the entire country, dividing the population, political and purely criminal violence rife, shortaqges of everything, no hope for the future and on and on. There is nothing positive to say. There is not a single indicator that is not negative.

    And still the guy keeps going? Insisting that everything will work out well in the end.

    I know you have crony capitalism, but is the UK falling apart internally in the same way?

    Right now, where would you rather be poor, sick and out of work? Venezuela or the UK?

  4. Well they call it Socialism. They have to. But, as usual, it’s the big cheese at the top with his cronies & cascading tiers of thugs & bag carriers keeping the whole stinking mess in place.
    And it happens every time. You start with collectivism & end up with the cult of the Leader. Effectively, absolute monarchy. Even to the point of hereditary succession. Has there ever been an instance of the socialist experiment that hasn’t ended up like this?

  5. I find it difficult to reconcile these tales of doom and gloom throughout Venezuela with Chavez’s evident popularity in elections and opinion polls – both may be somewhat biased in his favour, but there’s no suggestion of outright fraud.

    To offer an analogy, suppose that in the late 80s you were living in South America and knew little about the UK, but were told by left-leaning British emigres that the country was falling apart under Thatcher. Would you not be sceptical about it given that she’d won three successive general elections (albeit with much smaller shares of the popular vote than Chavez)?

  6. PaulB: the people living in North Korea and Cuba also tend to believe that they live in paradise. They will also believe that any problem they have is due to the eevil capitalists. In the cases of North Korea and Cuba it is the eevil capitalists living elsewhere whereas in Venezuela they also blaim the eevil capitalists that still remain in the country (until they will have been eradicated)

  7. PaulB

    From Spain we have a slightly clearer view of how things are. Brotherhood of Man and close cousins, you know…

    Chavez arrived promising the earth (who doesn’t among his ilk?). The populace loved him. If I have little or nothing and you promise me paradise on Earth, I will root for you.

    With almost total state control of the media, elimination of rivals, blame all ills on the others (there aren’t very many left of the others but it doesn’t matter) and he has got to here.

    Fortunately for Venezuela, his time is running out and more and more people are catching on to the reality. When the poor realise they are poorer and live worse, this may not end nicely.

    I remember well the arguments with my civil servant/government funded friends here in Spain years ago, PSOE voters the lot of them. I argued that it would all end in tears, describing something visibly similar to what is happening.

    Oh, the name-calling I had to endure. Funny, none of them remember now.

    I recommend watching one of his TV appearances. They would be hilarious if this tragedy wasn’t being played out. You don’t even need to speak Spanish.
    I still get the, ‘yes but he was the wrong guy for the right idea’, stuff. Vomit making.

    Oh and incidentally, I do not wish a right-wing dictatorship on them either just because they are in Latin America.

  8. Paul B, Emil and Bilbaoboy,

    I know little or nothing about Venezuela, but here goes anyway. Could part of the reason for support for Chavez be that the alternative is unappealing?

    As I say, I know little about the place, but I don’t remember reading about a petrodollar funded paradise, some kind of Latin American Norway, before Chavez came to power.

    Going back to Paul B’s analogy, Mrs T’s winning might in part be explained by the fact that the alternative was Michael Foot.

  9. Luke

    Every country in SA has skeletons in the cupboard, on the left and on the right. And I don’t believe that all the opposition are wonderful saints.

    Still, Chavez takes the biscuit (not for deaths, yet) but for his sheer economic stupidity coupled with an ego the size of (words fail me, must be Friday)

  10. With the greatest respect, there is nothing remarkable about The Guardian publishing that item. (Or do you mean you are surprised that other papers have not?)

  11. But 14 years on, as even his most hardcore supporters acknowledge, Chávez’s experiment in 21st-century socialism isn’t really working

    As always its the person implementing it and never the doctrine of Socialism that gets the blame.

    How many more countries have to be blighted and people impoverished before Socialism goes the way of fascism?

  12. Readers with a kindle should purchase Theodore Dalrymple’s ‘The Wilder Shores of Marx’. Very amusing on Chavez’s ideological chums in Albania, Cuba, N Korea, the Nam etc.

  13. Seconding Squirrel Nutkin’s remark that there is nothing surprising in itself about the Guardian publishing either an anti-socialist or an anti-Chavez piece. Comment is Free is explicitly about comment, and includes a wide variety of opinion. They have had Mr Toro on several times.

    There is a slight trend for the people the Guardian gets in as contrarians to be obviously chosen and timed such as to get a barrage of hate from commenters. I have been disgusted by this in the past. Presumably the editors do it to get lots of pageviews. But, to be fair, this tendency has always been accompanied by a sprinkling of writers such as Mr Toro, who do have a chance of persuading the average Guardian reader to at least accept that there is more than one reasonable point of view.

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