How's Socialism Doing in Venezuela?

Once there was a South American country with a promising future. 它有一个运作良好的民主制度
It had a functioning democracy, 快速发展的经济和不断增加的中产阶级
a rapidly developing economy, and a growing middle class. 所有重要指标 包括教育 医疗保健和外商投资
All the important indicators, including education, health care, and foreign investment, 都朝着正确的方向发展
were pointed in the right direction. 它远算不上完美 但尽是充满希望的氛围
It was far from perfect, but the mood was hopeful 而这也很合理
and with good reason. 但是现在所有希望都破灭了
But now all that promise is gone. 这个国家变成了一个失败国家 只剩下从前的空壳
The country is a failed state, a hollowed-out shell of its former self. 电力和用水这样的服务断断续续
Services like power and water are sporadic. 最基本的消费品
The most basic consumer goods, 从面包到厕纸 都长期地缺乏供应
from bread to toilet paper, are in chronically short supply. 犯罪率飙升
Crime has skyrocketed. 新闻出版自由几乎不存在
Freedom of the press is almost non-existent. 民主制度被实打实的独裁者所取代
Democracy has been replaced by a virtual dictatorship. 这个国家 我很难过要这么说 就是我深爱的委内瑞拉
The country is, I’m sorry to say, my beloved Venezuela, 我的家族深深根植于此的地方
a place in which my family has deep roots. 我只用一个词就能告诉你它发生了什么
I can tell you what happened to it in one word: 社会主义
socialism. 1999年
In 1999, 总统候选人乌戈·查韦斯答应
then-candidate for president Hugo Chavez promised 要带领委内瑞拉人民通向社会主义天堂
to lead the people of Venezuela to a socialist paradise 他的主题是“Esperanza y Cambio” “希望和改变 ”
His theme was “Esperanza y Cambio” – “Hope and Change.” “委内瑞拉有着巨大的财富 ”查韦斯说
“Venezuela is a nation of great wealth,” Chavez said, “但它正被邪恶的资本家和企业从公民身上偷走”
“but it’s being stolen from its citizens by the evil capitalists and the evil corporations.” 这个错误将被改正 他向投票者保证 如果他们选他的话
This wrong would be righted, he assured the voters, if they elected him. 他们照做了
And they did. 此后便是无尽的悔恨
To their everlasting regret. 查韦斯从他的导师菲德尔·卡斯特罗身上得到启发
Chavez drew inspiration from his mentor, Fidel Castro. 就像他的导师
Like his mentor, 他享受发表演讲 有时长达七个小时!
he enjoyed giving speeches – sometime lasted as many as seven hours! 他甚至给自己开了个每周电视节目
He even gave himself his own weekly television show 以便他可以放飞自我地高歌
where he would spontaneously break into song. 有条规律是这样的
Here’s a rule: 当你的国家领导人开始在国家电视台上唱歌
When your nation’s leader starts singing on national television, 你有麻烦了
you’re in trouble. 在查韦斯治下
Under Chavez, 委内瑞拉政府接管了一个又一个行业
the government of Venezuela took over industry after industry. 他向所有人保证
The government, he assured everyone, 政府会把这些业务经营得私人企业还好
would run these businesses better than private enterprise, 而且利润由人民共同享有
and the profits would be “shared” by the people. 籍着浩大声势
With great fanfare, 他撕毁与跨国石油和燃气公司的合同
he tore up contracts with multinational oil and gas companies 并要求他们付高得多的特许权利费
and demanded that they pay much higher royalties. 当他们拒绝 他让他们滚
When they refused, he told them to leave. 他们照做了
They did. 他的形象被好莱坞名人们拔得很高
His image was burnished by Hollywood celebrities 他们成群结队来看他正在做的伟大工作
who flocked to see the great work he was doing 从富人身上攉取钱财再把它交给穷人
taking money from the rich and giving it to the poor. 美国和欧洲进步主义政客也对他大加赞赏
Progressive politicians from the US and Europe also praised him lavishly. 还有另一条规律是这样的
Here’s another rule: 当好莱坞名人造访你的国家赞扬你的领导人
When Hollywood celebrities visit your country to praise your leader, 你有麻烦了
you’re in trouble. 当领导人在国家电视台上唱歌
When the leader sings on national television 还被好莱坞名人夸奖
and is praised by Hollywood celebrities, 你完蛋了
you’re doomed. 社会主义一开始总是有效的
Socialism always works in the beginning 所以人们在一开始时就被蒙骗了
so people are fooled…in the beginning. 政府可以很轻易地充公钱财
It’s easy for governments to confiscate money, 但最终不会再有钱可供充公
but eventually there’s no more money to confiscate. 在委内瑞拉的例子 我说的是认真的
In the case of Venezuela, I mean that literally: 可以把钱弄出国家的人 这么做了
People who could get money out of the country, did. 很多人完全离开了这个国家 将近两百万人
Many left the country altogether – nearly 2 million, 根据委内瑞拉社会学家托马斯·拜耶兹的统计
according to Venezuelan sociologist Tomás Páez. 财富的创造者们继续创造着财富
The wealth creators continued to create wealth, 不过是在别的地方
but they created it somewhere else 迈阿密或者马德里和世界上的其他地方
Miami or Madrid and other places around the world. 当查韦斯1999年第一次竞选总统
When Chavez first ran for President in 1999, 他说如果人们对他不满意的话 两年后他就会下台
he said he would leave in two years if people weren’t happy with him. 但是 就像卡斯特罗
But, like Castro, 查韦斯从没有过让出权力的打算
Chavez never had any intention of giving up power. 他于2013年在任时去世
He died in office in 2013, 被他的副总统尼古拉斯·马杜罗接替
replaced by his vice president, Nicolas Maduro. 马杜罗是缺乏领袖魅力或嗓音的查韦斯
Maduro is Chavez without the charisma or the voice. 这个国家现在是个弃子
The country is now a pariah, 被世界回避孤立
shunned by the world and isolated. 非常糟糕的是许多国际航班都拒绝飞到那里
It’s so bad that many international airlines refuse to fly there. 人们排好几个小时的队只为了得到食物
People stand in lines for hours just to get food. 有时候他们两手空空的走开
Sometimes they walk away empty-handed. 最近一份调查发现
A recent survey found that 75%的委内瑞拉成年人在2016年瘦了 平均19磅
75 percent of Venezuelan adults lost weight in 2016 – an average of 19 pounds. 这个全国减重项目被戏谑地称为“马杜罗节食法”
This national weight-loss program is known cynically as “the Maduro diet.” 马杜罗仍然大权在握
Still, Maduro holds onto power. 反对派领袖和报道真相的记者则被关进了监狱
Opposition leaders and journalists who report the truth are jailed. 委内瑞拉是个值得引以为戒的例子
Venezuela is a cautionary tale. 一旦一个国家步入社会主义道路
Once a country goes down a socialist path, 就没那么容易回头了
there’s no easy way back. 而且一个国家维持社会主义越久
And the longer a country stays socialist, 就越难进行改革
the harder it is to reform it 委内瑞拉实行了社会主义 二十年
Venezuela has been socialist for two decades. 如果你不认为它会发生在这里
If you don’t think it can happen here, 不管“这里”指的是美国或欧洲还是其他地方
whether “here” is the United States or Europe or anywhere else, 你就是在骗自己
you’re fooling yourself. 当人们习惯了依赖政府
When people get used to depending on the government 不管他们最终变得多穷
no matter how poor they remain 这种依赖就很难断绝了
that dependency is hard to break. 这就是为什么你永远不应该相信社会主义鬼话
That’s why you should never buy the socialist lie. 社会主义是毒品
Socialism is a drug. 而且就像毒品一样
And like a drug, 它在刚开始的时候感觉很棒
it feels great – at first. 但最终它会毁了你的国家
But eventually it will ruin your country. 就像它毁掉了委内瑞拉
Just like it ruined Venezuela. 我是黛比·德索萨 为Prager U录制
I’m Debbie D’Souza for Prager University.

  1. I dont know i feel like no matter what system you use, the real problem is greedy corrupt leaders. But then again in todays system greed is how you make it to the top so good luck i guess. Itleast in canada were lucky enough to have a senate as a safeguard and sell our oil to the US so we dont get invaded. Canada has many imperfections and is getting greedier by the day but were luckily still well off for now 🙂

  2. Venezuela is NOT a socialist country is a tyranny and a dictatorship that was managed by idiots who call themselves leftists but have not ever studied Karl Marx or even possible read the communist manifesto. Only interest was personal wealth.. corrupt bastards

  3. Hah. Sounds like Julius Malema in South Africa. South Africa has the exact same issues, false promises, and rising Marxist leaders. Crime is out of control. But we never had that problem before 1994….

  4. I liked everything you said, exsept the part of you saygn that a countre is doomed if the leader sing or get praizd by actors, that part was stupid.

  5. The promise of equality by communists is a hollow one. They kill the intellectuals and then leave all the stupid ones. Then comes starvation. And they say that is hope and change. LOL

  6. I know all this from my country. Unfortunatley, the west is heading in the same direction. People do not learn from mistakes. Greetings from Poland.

  7. The reason why Venezuela is poor is because they nationalized the oil instead of taxing people. Then the price of oil went down that when the country went to shit. Although she has many solid points this is conservative propaganda I am not a liberal or a conservative but a logical thinker who has intelligent veiws of the world

  8. What about American imperialism? The USA created an economic crisis, then they started to produce oil, and the oil price collapsed.

  9. What about scandinavia?

    Im just curious since here in norway we have democratic socialism and were doing great. Gdp is some of the worlds highest, we live good, make a lot of money and we have free education and healthcare.
    Also dont attack me, im just curious if our economy is going to fall soon…

  10. hope and change
    Isn't that what Justin Castro is selling up in Canada but doing the opposite
    God help us and shame on the people that voted for him

  11. It's about the oils friends.
    Here is the other side of the story.

  12. Ever since the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela, a seemingly countless assortment of foes from the West and their allies have sought to destabilize and destroy this wonderful attempt at Latin American unity under Socialism of the 21st century. The capitalists will never leave us alone. It is in their nature to ruin and steel from a noble experiment. Hold on Venezuela, do not become El Salvador or Mexico!

  13. what about Scandinavia country they have policy like socialism. the government have provide social welfare about education , healthcare and its free same Venezuela.

    Is it possible Venezuela had brokered with management of government is bad more than they political?

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