Thursday, December 11, 2014

Unhappy in Ferguson MO?

Be thankful you aren't Virginia Gomez, living in rural Venezuela;
In this town [Valle de la Pascua], and many others like it, armed confrontations between criminal gangs right outside your front door are considered normal. The rule is to be home by six in the afternoon and don’t venture out until the next day. Here, being the victim of a crime at night is considered “your fault,” simply for having been outside when it happened.
In the country as in the capital, the Venezuelan state has absolved itself of responsibilities such as ensuring citizens’ safety. However, it has proven very effective in other pursuits, such as generating fear and mistrust of the government itself.
Not that the people of Venezuela are going to do anything about it anytime soon.
Unfortunately, there is little chance of change around the corner. Paradoxically, it is precisely these remote and marginalized areas of the country that provide a key power base for Venezuela’s governmental elite. The forcible closure of private educational establishments means that many are forced to go through public schools, where students are often exposed to Chavista indoctrination.
The state has also secured its hold over the provinces by expropriating herds, farms and private companies, such as agricultural vendor Agroisleña, now renamed Agropatria. When nothing remains of the agriculture industry and private employment, citizens living in the countryside are left with no option other than government jobs, which demand political loyalty to the Maduro regime.
Citizens thus fall for the false paternalism of the Venezuelan state, and consider the government the good guy in the daily horror story of their lives. They don’t realize that the government is responsible for scarcity, the failure of public services and rampant crime.
Sounds like a lot of Americans, to us.

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