Mr. Gripes on Venezuela’s Plight
In my mid-teens, for one week during a summer, I accompanied my father to a medical conference in Caracas, Venezuela. My dad enjoyed the company, and both my parents must have figured a short trip to a foreign country might be a ‘learning experience’ for me, instead of wasting my time at home obsessing about Mickey Mantle and his home runs.
Well, I did sit in on a cardiology lecture for 45 minutes, observing one enlarged, blood-engorged heart after another. I decided on the spot that my activity for the next three days would be exploring Caracas on my own.
Despite the opulence of the hotel swimming pool, I chose to obtain some ‘carry-around’ money from my dad, and with the admonition not to ‘go too far’ from the hotel, I began to ‘tour’ the city. Caracas, from what I recall, was not a picturesque city, in the tradition of, say, Barcelona or Paris. In fact, it was a drab place, dominated by oil derricks in those days, and resembling New York City somewhat in its grittiness. Sightseeing was not one of its strengths.
But, I discovered, in my sojourns, that the Venezuelans themselves were helpful, kind, generous and very pleasant to a 15-year-old, sheltered boy. [On multiple occasions, shopkeepers would step out into the street, and present to me — I offered to pay, but was refused – some kind of meat pie that must have been a national dish. I ate a ton of them.]
I always remember with fondness how friendly the people of Caracas were to me, with no ostensible animosity at all. I felt at ease with them immediately.
So, when I read these days of the apparent complete breakdown of the Venezuelan state, the political arrests and shootings, the dissolution of its institutions [judicial, economic], the ‘stolen’ elections, I react with two emotions: a profound sadness for those kind people and utter rage at – once again as has been the case since 1917 – the goddamn Communists who run the country.
It’s always been the same story, beginning with Nikolai Lenin taking a train to St Petersburg and starting the Bolshevik Revolution, the monster Josef Stalin, the murderous Mao killing tens of millions of his own citizens, or the psychopathic Fidel Castro, within two months of his ascension to power, executing hundreds of his own citizens and expropriating private property: these criminals will cruelly treat anyone who may challenge the one-man dictatorship, and then dispose of them quickly via a noose or firing squad or imprisonment.
What’s absolutely stunning about Communists is that the story has been and always is the same: they usurp control with ‘power-to-the-people’ promises, and obliterate the one class that could do wonders for the country: the intelligentsia and the small business owners. Within a short time, without the assistance of the people who actually have the ability to run a country successfully, the Communists manage to destroy the economy, impoverish the citizens, and rule without mercy. They become homicidal psychopaths; holding on to power using any means available becomes the ultimate goal. And, of course, the United States becomes the universal scapegoat for these bastards.
The baboon Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, elected in a free election in 1998, and his successor Maduro are no different: they devastate the national economy [inflation the last time I looked was running at 720% annually!], to the point now citizens can’t get enough food, and Maduro and his henchmen hold on to power through only one means: the gun.
I just hope that Maduro, when he is finally overthrown, is treated just like Benito Mussolini was at the end of World War II: the former dictator of Italy was executed, then hung up, naked, by his ankles, at a public gas station, so his fellow Italians could confirm that he was dead, and then enjoy spitting on him. That would be entirely fitting for Mr. Maduro.
Photo caption: Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro with Russian President Vladimir Putin.