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Sun Jun 10, 2018, 08:12 PM

Venezuela's Long Road to Hell


Word from Caracas is that locals have taken to scouring city streets for plastic garbage bags full of rubbish and, when they find them, emptying the contents so that they can resell the bags.

This sounds absurd, but it is believable in a country where extreme poverty has spread like the plague. Human capital is fleeing. Oil production is plummeting, and the state-owned oil company is in default. The garbage bag, imported with dollars, is a thing of value.

If anything was more predictable than the mess created by Hugo Chávez’s Marxist Bolivarian Revolution, it is the pathetic effort by socialists to deny responsibility. The Socialist Party of Great Britain tweeted recently that Venezuela’s problem is that socialism has yet to be tried. It blamed the crisis on “a profit-driven capitalist economy under leftist state-control.” Even more preposterous is the claim by some academics that economic liberalism in the 1980s spawned the socialism that has destroyed the country.

Learning from history is impossible if the narrative is wrong. So let’s clear the record: By the time Chávez was elected, Venezuela already had 40 years of socialism under its belt and precious little, if any, experience with free markets.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/venezuelas-long-road-to-hell-1528652625

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