Last month, the people of Argentina rejected Peronism and elected Mauricio Macri. Now the people of Venezuela are set to turf out Hugo Chavez's successor Nicolas Maduro. Why? Because socialism has brought both countries to ruin.
Both Argentina and Venezuela are in economic crisis. Inflation in both countries is rampant, driving up the cost of living, and depressing living standards. Nationalisation has caused industrial stagnation. Price controls have created supply shortages of basic goods. Crime and corruption are pervasive. In Venezuela, the healthcare system is collapsing, and State repression of dissent is increasingly ugly.
These ought not to be poor countries. Both are rich in natural resources. Their economies have been destroyed by central planning. A corrupt elite in both countries lives in luxury off the backs of the people they rule. As the supermarket shelves have emptied and medicine run out, Maduro and Kirchner have amassed millions. Socialism has made the rich richer, and the poor poorer. It's like an Ayn Rand novel come to life.
None of this is surprising. What does surprise me is that the leader of Her Majesty's Opposition is an open admirer of Nicolas Maduro. He even says so on his campaign website, claiming: "Success for radical policies in Venezuela is being achieved by providing for the poorest, liberating resources."
"A revolutionary text ... right up there with the Communist manifesto" - Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times
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