I’ve had the dubious fortune to experience life in two countries that claimed to be marching towards socialism. I was in Chile between 1971 and 1972 when President Salvador Allende led a government attempting to create a socialist state of freedom. I lived in Venezuela from 1974 until President Hugo Chávez set course towards the “sea of happiness” that was nothing other than the Cuban socialist model. [our bold]
In both cases I had to put up with lines outside stores provoked by shortages, government-backed violence, and a harsh daily existence in which every instant was dedicated to hunting down basic products and food.Which the authorities blame on capitalists;
A few days ago, Jorge Giordani, who was hailed for years as the “czar” of the Venezuelan economy, said that the country had lost its wealth, and that the “bureaucracy, ignorance, and incompetence” of the regime had brought it to the brink of catastrophe.
However, Giordani took care to add that these evils belonged to “the capitalist system” itself. I wasn’t surprised: I knew Giordani when we both lectured at Venezuela’s Central University. He was a sorry sight: a firm defender of the regime in North Korea, he repeated insipid doctrines to deceive his students instead of educating them.Socialism is el opio del pueblo.