The left draw an iron curtain of silence around Venezuela

Thomas Sowell wrote that, ?Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it?. Sowell was wrong, of course: it?s not just intellectuals who live in constant denial of socialism?s unbroken record of failure, but legacy media journalists, politicians, the young, and the left in general. Millennials at least have the bad excuse of towering ignorance: the rest are far less forgivable.

Whatever their reason, the excuses for the latest socialist failure pile up faster than the corpses of its victims, and the jackdaws of the left remain as eager as ever for the next shiny socialist distraction. Quote:

While [G. W.] Bush was the great bogeyman of the international media, Chavez was, in the general narrative, a bringer of light. The leader of a “Bolivarian Revolution” that aimed to bring socialism to Latin America, he was a flamboyant alternative to the staid third-way approach of countries like Denmark. For the first time since the collapse of the USSR, state socialism was romantic again.

When [Castro] died in 2016, Labour MP Clare Curran tweeted that he was a “legend”. But the Cuban dictatorship was stale and old. The Bolivarian Revolution was new and exciting.

Venezuela overflows with oil. With commodity prices at all-time highs for much of Chavez’s tenure, it was overflowing with foreign exchange too. Money may not be everything in life, but it can solve a lot of problems ? at least in the short term. End of quote.

Chavez became a hero of the global left. Forget the fact that his socialist paradise was built entirely on wicked fossil fuels. Quote:

It was always interesting that the Left in New Zealand, which was then concerned with peak oil in addition to climate change, would celebrate this petro-socialism. But Chavez’s charisma was irresistible. Besides, Chavez seemed to almost always win ? and nothing papers over contradiction like success. End of quote.

But the problem with such big-spending socialist projects, as Margaret Thatcher wisely observed, is that ?they always run out of other people?s money?. When Chavez mercifully carked it, the cracks in his grand utopia were already showing. Quote:

In the year of his death, the US-based Heritage Foundation ranked Venezuela 174th in the world for economic freedom. Only Zimbabwe, Cuba and North Korea had more restricted economies. End of quote.

But still the left giddily swooned over their latest revolutionary matinee idol. Just like the laundry list of Australian leftists who begged their red robber baron to come Downunder, New Zealand?s legacy media remained firmly all aboard with Chavismo. Quote:

Veteran New Zealand journalist Gordon Campbell penned a glowing obituary of Chavez, which proclaimed him “an example of how much a third-world nation can achieve when it takes control of its natural resources from the US and its corporate allies, and uses them to benefit its own people and the region”. He went on to say: “The main beneficiaries of Chavez’ 14 years in power were the ordinary people of Venezuela.”

Chris Trotter, clearly an admirer of “El Presidente”, mused wistfully about what the Kiwi analogue of Chavez would look like. “Imagine Hone Harawira blended into Willie Apiata, with the ideological fervour of Jane Kelsey and Annette Sykes,” he suggested. He dreamed of such a composite being sent “into South and west Auckland on a mission to build a movement capable of smashing the neoliberal order in New Zealand”, and spreading “his revolutionary Aotearoan socialist ‘circles’ across the entire country”.

Keith Locke, the Green MP with a good heart, but a history of questionable judgments, slated John Key for not attending Chavez’s state funeral. End of quote.

Less than a decade after Chavez?s well-deserved demise, Venezuela is a blighted wasteland of starvation and penury. And of course his leftist cheerleaders have admitted their mistake.

Ha! Quote:

Although the legacy of Chavez still dominates Venezuela, we also don’t hear much his revolution these days either, other than from the handful of conservative sore thumbs in the media. We rarely even get the “but it wasn’t real socialism” line trotted out to explain the failed Soviet, East German, Chinese, North Korean, Zimbabwean, Cuban, Ethiopian and Tanzanian experiments. It is simply a non-subject. End of quote.


Just pretend it never happened. After all, it?s sure to work next time, right, comrades?