BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN
I am getting fed up to the back teeth with the comments of hard-line British leftists about Venezuela, now the country is back in the news as the socialist tyrant Maduro’s days dwindle:
The fact is that Venezuela – with its oil and mineral wealth, and with its relatively small population – should be richer than France. As it is, because of years of socialist price-fixing, the greed and stupidity of its socialist rulers (particularly in failing to invest in PDVSA the state oil company) and because of its leaders (and Cuba’s) ideological war against success (since 1998 forcing almost all experts to leave), Venezuela is an economic basket case and one of the most violent lands on the planet to boot.
On the ground those who have remained are starving. Labour’s Chris Williamson was wrong in claiming that there was enough food now for Venezuelans to eat. He looks like a skeleton already, but he can catch a flight to Venezuela today and help our neighbours in Monagas state capture birds the size of sparrows which comprise a family’s daily meal – if they are lucky – in rural areas. Or he can stop near the airport in Maiquetia and join the folk there in the barrios rifling through trash – that’s if he’s not male-raped, tortured and slain before he can sate his hunger on a mouldy banana skin or the remnants of a stray dog.
Chances are Williamson would not get as far as the countryside. The roads out of Caracas are ambushed daily by armed delinquents, who leave booby traps on the tarmac to puncture tyres. The same kind of traps that one night stopped the car of our friend Monica Spear and her British husband Thomas Berry, who were then shot to death – their five year old daughter Maya left with a bullet in her leg cowering on the back seat in the darkness.
It’s a great shame that Corbyn’s Labour Party are such hypocrites and cowards. Their socialism is precisely the kind of socialism that Chavez, Maduro, Cabello and other Marxist stooges have tried in Venezuela over the last two decades and I’d welcome them on a tour of the country right now to see the effects of their preaching.
We could stop off for a mango smoothie on the paradise of a beach at Isla El Faro, have a steak at Casa Vieja in Caracas and dance the night away at El Paraiso – we’d need a convoy of armoured vehicles to carry the people and the piles of bolivars, as well as a supply of arms and vests to counter certain threats to life – and hopefully they’ll be strong-minded enough not to have their trip ruined by the inevitable bouts of mourning.
“Ah that’s not our socialism,” claim the Corbynistas. Yes it bloody is. Central control or “social ownership” of the means of production is a Corbyn policy – a large number of important sectors belong to the Venezuelan State, such as oil, electricity, water, so-called public services, in addition to Chavistas having significant participation in the banking, telecommunications, and many other branches of production (coffee, iron, steel, as well as any minerals). Corbyn’s plans for media legislation of newspapers are not dissimilar to Chavez’. Percentage profit limits and establishing arduous labour legislation for companies are Corbynite and Chavista policies, including high labour benefits for workers, making formal hiring for small and medium-sized entrepreneurs difficult, as well as implementing a regime of labour immobility in which the employer must justify the dismissal of an employee before courts specialised in labour matters. Taxing capitalists until they flee – another policy the Corbynistas and Chavistas have in common. Venezuela is Corbynism enacted – a socialist state that, like all hardline socialist states, has failed miserably, killing and torturing its citizens in the process. Throw in rampant antisemitism from Maduro and Chavez as well – “for the many not the few”.
I can kind of understand uneducated commentators like Aaron Bastani or Rachel from Swindon pumping out pro Chavista propaganda. I expect no better from chicken brain MPs like Laura Pidcock and Lloyd Russell-Moyle. It is the supposedly educated commentators who really get on my wick – Owen Jones and James O’Brien would not last a minute out there and yet their ideological stance, when lived out, merits that socialist agony. There would be summary justice meted out for the sins of Momentum brainwashing – for Dawn Butler, John Lansman, Laura Parker and Ruth Berry – if they were forced to catch rats for food in Petare slum, that great monument to Socialism (nothing to do with recent American sanctions).
The reality on the ground out in Venezuela – and I do not publicly declare my visits now, after threats from red-shirted muppets – is grim and beyond discussions of the left-right political axis. What matters more is security – too often killing before getting killed. The need for humanitarian assistance trumps political leaning and I sincerely hope that, when Maduro has hotfooted out of Venezuela to Honduras or to join Chavez in hell, the international community comes together to recognise the assistance that the country needs, rather than seeing gold, oil and mineral wealth as prizes to vie for. There is now a generation of delinquents in Venezuela who need dealing with. The Venezuelan People, like Brits, are a glorious, witty bunch – it is a terrible tragedy that too many of the Venezuelans were conned by the heroin of socialism.
Socialism. Always. Ends. Badly.
Please, Brits – and I know most of you have already – wake up.
Dominic Wightman is the Editor of Country Squire Magazine.