How’s Socialism Doing in Venezuela?


Once there was a South American country with
a promising future. It had a functioning democracy, a rapidly
developing economy, and a growing middle class. All the important indicators, including education,
health care, and foreign investment, were pointed in the right direction. It was far from perfect, but the mood was
hopeful – and with good reason. But now all that promise is gone. The country is a failed state, a hollowed-out
shell of its former self. Services like power and water are sporadic. The most basic consumer goods, from bread
to toilet paper, are in chronically short supply. Crime has skyrocketed. Freedom of the press is almost non-existent. Democracy has been replaced by a virtual dictatorship. The country is, I’m sorry to say, my beloved
Venezuela, a place in which my family has deep roots. I can tell you what happened to it in one
word: socialism. In 1999, then-candidate for president Hugo
Chavez promised to lead the people of Venezuela to a socialist paradise. His theme was “Esperanza y Cambio” – “Hope
and Change.” “Venezuela is a nation of great wealth,”
Chavez said, “but it’s being stolen from its citizens by the evil capitalists and the
evil corporations.” This wrong would be righted, he assured the
voters, if they elected him. And they did. To their everlasting regret. Chavez drew inspiration from his mentor, Fidel
Castro. Like his mentor, he enjoyed giving speeches
– some that lasted as many as seven hours! He even gave himself his own weekly television
show where he would spontaneously break into song. Here’s a rule: When your nation’s leader
starts singing on national television, you’re in trouble. Under Chavez, the government of Venezuela
took over industry after industry. The government, he assured everyone, would
run these businesses better than private enterprise, and the profits would be “shared” by the
people. With great fanfare, he tore up contracts with
multinational oil and gas companies and demanded that they pay much higher royalties. When they refused, he told them to leave. They did. His image was burnished by Hollywood celebrities
who flocked to see the great work he was doing – taking money from the rich and giving
it to the poor. Progressive politicians from the US and Europe
also praised him lavishly. Here’s another rule: When Hollywood celebrities
visit your country to praise your leader, you’re in trouble. When the leader sings on national television
and is praised by Hollywood celebrities, you’re doomed. Socialism always works in the beginning, so
people are fooled…in the beginning. It’s easy for governments to confiscate
money, but eventually there’s no more money to confiscate. In the case of Venezuela, I mean that literally:
People who could get money out of the country, did. Many left the country altogether – nearly
2 million, according to Venezuelan sociologist Tomás Páez. The wealth creators continued to create wealth,
but they created it somewhere else – Miami or Madrid and other places around the world. When Chavez first ran for President in 1999,
he said he would leave in two years if people weren’t happy with him. But, like Castro, Chavez never had any intention
of giving up power. He died in office in 2013, replaced by his
vice president, Nicolas Maduro. Maduro is Chavez without the charisma or the
voice. The country is now a pariah, shunned by the
world and isolated. It’s so bad that many international airlines
refuse to fly there. People stand in lines for hours just to get
food. Sometimes they walk away empty-handed. A recent survey found that 75 percent of Venezuelan
adults lost weight in 2016 – an average of 19 pounds. This national weight-loss program is known
cynically as “the Maduro diet.” Still, Maduro holds onto power. Opposition leaders and journalists who report
the truth are jailed. Venezuela is a cautionary tale. Once a country goes down a socialist path,
there’s no easy way back. And the longer a country stays socialist,
the harder it is to reform it. Venezuela has been socialist for two decades. If you don’t think it can happen here, whether
“here” is the United States or Europe or anywhere else, you’re fooling yourself. When people get used to depending on the government
– no matter how poor they remain – that dependency is hard to break. That’s why you should never buy the socialist
lie. Socialism is a drug. And like a drug, it feels great – at first. But eventually it will ruin your country. Just like it ruined Venezuela. I’m Debbie D’Souza for Prager University.




Comments
  1. About 70% of Venezuela's economy is privately owned, and approximately 80% of their workforce works in the private sector. Both of those figures are higher than many Western democracies. Venezuela isn't socialist, and they never have been. I won't deny that they are having very serious problems, but socialism is far from being the cause of those problems.

    Also, Venezuela went from having a poverty rate of 49.4% in 1999 to 23.9% in 2012. Unemployment went from 14.5% to 7.8%. Either way, Chavez actually did a lot of good for the country. The fact this video sweeps all that under rug is pretty incredible.

    You're just using buzzwords in the wrong context to make people irrationally afraid of socialism. Next time you make a video on this, you might want to just Google what socialism is first. Just saying.

  2. This is what's happening in South-Africa and the world is silent once again because it doesn't suit their narrative!

  3. Bahahaa Venezuela is not even socialist. Never was. Never even been close to being socialist. What a load of bull. What did happen was the CIA staging a coup d'etat and it failed. Trump even admitted it! This is the cause of all the turmoil in the country NOT socialism.

  4. AOC: I want a socialist government.

    Venezuela citizens: Please help! We’re hungry and we can’t feed ourselves because of socialism!

    AOC: I still want a socialist government.

  5. As a Venezuelan, that still lives in Caracas, i can confirm everything in this video is true. Medicine and basic needs are very rare to find, and if you do, you will probably gonna find with “bachaqueros” that are people that make the exhausting job of finding them and then reselling them for 5 times the original price

  6. I believe Bernie is advocating for liberal democracy, I by no means like him, but he is not a socialist, He just does not have the access to the vocab we have.

  7. 2019, Mexico is going through the same thing with leftist Mexican president. Our economy is going to the toilet because of his old recipes very much like Chavez and Castro did to their nations!

  8. Im from Panama, many Venezuelans are here, same as in some other latinamerican countries close.
    To any idiotic person trying to defend socialism, simply go to Venezuela, go watch reality. The only people who are doing good there are government asskissers.

  9. Celebrities are not politicians. Like Dennis Rodman defending Kim Yong Un regime. They are NOT famous for being smart, educated, intelligent; they are only famous for being dancing monkeys who entertain us.

  10. The Venezuelan people have themselves to blame. They ushered in a Communist like Chavez when he was ranting about civil rights, racism and "the rich". People who support Communist leaders are not victims, they are co-conspirators. The same can be said about Democrats in America. I feel sorry for the Venezuelan people, but are they ready to repent and accept their role in the Chavez presidency? Chavez got elected the same way Obama did.

  11. 70% of businesses in Venezuela are privately owned, it’s not socialist. Bolivia is socialist (and has been for longer than Venezuela’s fake socialism that basically just nationalized one industry) and it’s doing very well, thank you.

  12. Can't watch due to the ad. Why does everything in today's world have to be loud? I lasted less than 2 seconds on this one then flushed it!

  13. As an eastern european, I am happy that we got rid of that… but the most places are still recovering.

  14. Yes,some aspects of this are true. Especially the part of which you eventually lose the money to take from the rich and give to the poor to create a single class-the middle class,but then eventually the poverty-struck.No,Socialism isn't the most evil thing in the world. The whole point of Socialism is that everyone is equal,you just need to ensure an actual,pure government to not abuse the powers of a socialist society. Venezuela,in this video,is the guinea pig of another lie being spread in my opinion. Socialism will,I agree,decline into a failing economy. But that's the reason why you try to encourage citizens to be smart in their economy and shape education to that.My big point is:this video is completely anti-socialist,not bothering to see any good sights of it,and trying to influence others based on their opinion.

  15. 4K unlikes? 4K ignorant Bernie supporters wanting to get their free stuff he’s been promising. As this video warns us- you don’t want to feel the “Burn”. Just ask someone from Venezuela how they’re liking it. Why doesn’t Sean Penn actively support what’s going on there now?

  16. Even the poorest of Capitalists have more wealth than a socialist. Small government and free market are the best. Reliance on others is a shitty way to live. Be self sufficient. Earn you keep . No one likes a heathy bum.

  17. How to properly neuter socialism and communism:
    1. Bomb them with news
    2. Bomb them with normal people being rich
    3. Force them to stop internet censorship
    4. Watch the 90% of the population fleeing or mad
    5???
    6 profit

  18. Typical fear- and scare mongering.
    It was first "populism" which caused the ruin in Venezuela, followed by US sanctions.

  19. That's not what Bernie "Feel the Burn" Sanders says! And he is a great guy. He's says it Paradise there and he also said (10 years ago, not now) that he helped set up (setup?) That paradise.

  20. If My people who call themselves by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

  21. The communist kid in my class said that socialism works and that she would prove it by going to Venezuela. It has been 2 years do you guys think she's dead?

  22. Todo bien…sólo que el inicio no es tan exacto…antes de Chavez existía mucha pobreza en Venezuela…por eso mismo es que chavez ganó las elecciones

  23. Fair comment? The problem with socialism may be that it is not allowed to work. Capitalist countries will always destroy socialist countries so they can pillage their resources, even at the cost of the lives of innocent people. The globalist elite can never be satisfied, look at what they are doing to all societies now. I guess we will not be allowed to find the truth as they control the media and most aspects of our lives

  24. People forget part of The economy collapse and the reason They implemented Socialism is because of The oil embargo the US placed on them. Not defending socialism in fact in downright despise it but it’s a inconvenient truth .

  25. My favorite part was his campaign slogan of "Hope and Change"! Wasn't there a Socialist in this country with the same message…?

  26. Trump can't sing for shit and Hollywood has boycotted half the country so I think we're actually doing really good.

  27. I can see most of the points,and have myself abandoned most socialist idea's.
    But i hear that the majority of the Venezuelan's still want Maduro,and ive read about the decades-long US sanctions on Venezuela.. Aren't they also parcially at fault?

  28. This is what some Americans want? You guys need to do your research. Don't flush yourselves down the drain thinking that you won't end up in a sewer. You may think by bringing down supposedly "evil corporations" and "evil rich people", you create equality. But that only lasts so long. You can't sustain an impossible paradise.

  29. Yet comrade Colbyn the antisemitic leader of labour uses Venezuela as his model claiming its a socialist utopia. Kalifornia is also heading in that direction thanks to Brown and his ilk.

  30. I'm absolutely not a socialist, but wasn't Venezuela doing alright until the oil industry took a huge dip? I remember having to research it for school in 2016, and everything I read said the economy was successful due to the country's plethora of oil. The economy depended so much on it that when the industry started failing, the country took a huge fall.
    Plus, the people who could afford to leave the country were probably the people the government was taking money from, so maybe Venezuela would be doing better if the rich weren't so afraid to be middle-class citizens and if the economy was more versatile. You can bash socialism all you want- it has been proven ineffective many, many times- but don't the other issues deserve attention as well? Especially considering the fact that Venezuela isn't really a completely socialist environment.

  31. I think that those want socialism in our country need to go to Venezuela, north Korea etc. The founding fathers never intended on state control

  32. Actually is not socialism. Is oil. Venezuela people are not smart enough to diversify the economy away from oil. Venezuela Government want to hike oil price to get more revenue, but the oil price is control by The New World Order. This is why Venezuela Government turn to Russia. Prager U. Make People Stupid.

  33. Oh well, that's what you get for voting. If we would just stop voting, some distasteful people would still get elected, by a few ignorant folks, but the politico's would be looking over their shoulders in fear everyday they hold office.

  34. I can guarantee…this will never happen in the states. There would be a civil war….and since they don't believe in guns…we know who will win.

  35. As a survivor of Socialism, I can confirm every word. She says it well, she says it exactly as it is.

    Any country–anywhere in the world, at any time–is only one step away from Socialist Hell.

    US has traditionally held bigger distance from this collective drug, bigger than Latin-American countries or even Europe where some countries have flirted with it quite closely at times. Nevertheless, US is no exception, it's a country and so it can fall.

    Unfortunately there's no magic drug against Socialism. The only effective cure is to go through this disaster and experience it first hand. Once a nation has burned their hand it gives that country immunity for a few generations. After that safe period most countries have to be vaccinated again. So far US has been an exception from this rule. Keep it up guys, don't get sloppy now!

  36. I am an American, that lived in Venezuela as a kid from 1959 through 1969. Back then, Venezuela was the richest nation not only in South America, but Central America as well. Yes, there was some corruption in the government back then, just like there is now in the U.S., but back then the nation was growing leaps and bounds!
    Then came Chavez the socialist followed by Maduro the murderer. My brother went back there as a missionary in 2015. The horror stories he told me! People in abject poverty, rampant crime and gun fire heard at night! Plus, we hear of just how bad it is there!
    Because the people there voted for the loser socialism model, they are now prisoners in their own country. Now Venezuela is the second poorest nation in the world, second only to North Korea.
    My question to you Bernie lovers, is this what you really want? Perhaps you should visit Venezuela before you vote!

  37. I'm from Colombia, and i can say that the socialism is the worst thing ever made, in my country you can see so many hungry and thirsthy venezuelans walking by the highways with their sons and daughters.
    The socialism even damage countries around of it

  38. The Pew Research Center just reported that a majority of Millennials support Socialism over Capitalism.

    As a Millennial myself, i apologize that my generation can't think for themselves.

  39. PragerU are not telling you the whole truth.
    Venezuela was ruined by "populism", not "socialism".
    Google the definitions, and realize that PragerU is a propaganda channel, which skews facts in order to gather support.
    China is a "socialist state". To be exact, a "Marxist Socialist" state.

    Venezuela fits the definition of a social democracy, and it failed because Chavez bribed supporters with state revenue, funded by a high price of oil. When the price of oil caved in, he could no longer fund the promises he had made, and shifted more and more to threats, rather than coercion (more "stick", less "carrot").
    Note, all of the above are "internal politics".

    Today, the price of oil is back up, but US sanctions are stifling a recovery. Note, that this is "foreign meddling" building on the foundation of a corrupt system.

    Same happened in Greece, minus the extreme foreign intervention. For decades, Greek politicians had lavishly coaxed supporters with gifts, predominantly paid for by generous EU loans. Greece collapsed when cheap EU stayed out after the 2009 economic crisis.

  40. 10 dollar for 2 people = $ 5
    for 4 people = $ 2.50
    for 8 people = $ 1.25
    for 16 people = $ 0.63
    for 32 people = $ 0.30
    for 64 people = $ 0.15

  41. maybe little out of topic but socialism never worked and never will. My country (Czech republic) didn't cope with all damages socialism left here and it's starting again. Only now it's coming from the west. The same countries we looked up to back then now falling into the same abyss. How sad 😓

  42. This is slowly happening in Jamaica. The people voted the same socialist idiots in. You never hear about this in the mainstream liberal media here in the US. You know your headed for a path of disaster when your government starts issuing a 5,000 dollar bill.

    Full socialism doesn’t work anywhere it’s implemented. It hasn’t worked in the history of mankind. And the naive argument of the Scandinavian countries having socialism is flat out false. They have free market economies where you can earn based on what you do and how hard you work. Some of their systems are socialized like education and healthcare but their government doesn’t control all industries. And those industries that are socialized are not free as the lunatics in the US like to call it. They pay a much higher % in taxes than the highest paying tax payer does in the US. Anyone who falls for this FREE FREE FREE nonsense the left is promising has a weak grasp on reality and is contributing to the potential downfall of this country.

  43. Socialism is the immortal enemy of Capitalism philosophycally. It is impossible hoping both of them living together peacefully.

  44. The first few years, leftists call it success beyond compare. Years later, "It was never socialism!" Every. Single. Time.

  45. 71% percent of the economy is privately owned in Venezuela, more so than, say, France. About 20% more. How could be socialist? When Chavezissim began in Venezuela, people on the right and left praised its social reforms. Since then it has been a social democracy. Corruption and economic mismanagement by left and (mainly) right wing parties ruined Venezuela's economy, socialism being responsible is a myth propagated by right wing media outlets. Its a shame that people care more about slandering the left than the actual situation in Venezuela, but a predictable shame.

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