The Chavista dictatorship was always the worst. Latin America leaned to the hard left for well over a decade, but Nicolas Maduro, now likely headed to an ignominous end in 2019, stood head and shoulders above his socialist contemporaries for both incompetence and malevolence. Michelle Bachelet, Jose Mujica, and Rafael Correa: they did not destroy their countries…things functioned relatively well…one got the sense that you could sit down and have a reasonable discussion with them. Dilma Rousseff, probably worse than these three; but again, Brazil was not brought to its knees under her tenure: its political and economic systems had serious problems, growth lagged and spending was far greater than it should have been…but you could live in and visit Brazil.
Argentina’s Cristina Kirchner is where normal leftist turns to malevolent leftist. She ran Argentina as her personal fiefdom: kleptocracy, corruption, and insider dealing were the norms of the day. Yet absolutely no South American leader in modern history is approaching the malfeasance of the Chavista dictatorship under the stewardship of Nicolas Maduro.
Hyperinflation, murder and imprisonment of opposition politicians, the “Narco-nephews” incident, the looting of state resources, the billions siphoned to offshore bank accounts, the Fernando Alban murder, shortages of food, medicine, and every consumer good imaginable, the exchange rate scam used to enrich his Chavista pals, the secret deals with Hamas and Hezbollah…there are so many outrageous and outlandish scandals and injustices, that Maduro has become nearly a caricature of a leftist Latin America dictator: a la Sacha Baron Cohen’s spoof of a Middle Eastern strongman in the film “The Dictator.”
Now, the world is finally doing something about it.
At stake is the future for 30 million Venezuelans who have had their dreams, their lives, their opportunities, and their futures, stolen from them. A third of Venezuelans have no memory of the pre-Chavez era…but many of their parents are certainly wishing at this point that they never voted for Chavez to begin with in 1998 (after, of course, Chavez tried to overthrow a democratically-elected government in a 1992 coup attempt that resulted in the deaths of 143 people).
Juan Guaido has declared himself as interim president until free and fair elections can be held. The world has split up into two blocks: on the one hand…countries that cherish personal, social, and economic freedom: including the vast majority of North, South, and Central America, Western and Eastern Europe, Japan, and Australia.
In the other block, we find the world’s dictatorships: Islamist, socialist, Communist, and Marxist. China, Laos, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Cuba.
The there is another block: countries that are not technically dictatorships, but where autocratic leaders are doing everything they can to impose their will on any semblance of democracy: these include Putin’s Russia, Erdogan’s Turkey, Morales’ Bolivia, and Ortega’s Nicaragua.
In both Bolivia and Nicaragua, socialist presidents have come under fierce attack from their own people, for trying to subvert the will of law, and the tradition of democratic elections.
As US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, it is time for the world to pick a side.
Russia has now emerged as Maduro’s biggest backer. China has stayed largely on the sidelines, despite its official support for Maduro.
The Russian Foreign Ministry’s claims that they are merely interested in preserving national sovereignty in Venezuela ring hollow.
Guaido represents the will of the people. Maduro represents an extremely small minority of people who have stolen the nation’s resources. If Russia does not believe in intervention in other countries, then why is spiriting away hundreds of millions of dollars of Venezuelan gold on secret flights, and sending teams of hundreds of mercenaries to the country?
Maduro is even more disingenuous when it comes to his tired stale rhetoric about the “Yankee imperialists” on the prowl for Venezuela’s oil. We buy 40% of Venezuela’s oil. Plus, why exactly are Russia, China, and Turkey circling Venezuela nowdays? Maduro is going to tell us that it is not at all related to Venezuela’s oil reserves? Please.
Russia and China are robbing the Venezuelan people blind, and Maduro is the fool making the terrible deals…indebting future generations in order to desperately cling to power for another month, and keep his band of Communist crooks and cronies in power.
It is time for the world to say…BASTA! ENOUGH!
Juan Guaido is the legitimate leader of Venezuela until free and fair elections can be held. You can either stand with the Venezuelan people…on the side of economic, social, and political freedom. Or you can stand on the side of the dictatorship.