Recently, a story and photos surfaced showing the poor condition of a 46-year-old African elephant in Venezuela. A food drive was started by concerned citizens to help feed the elephant. The government refused to accept these donations. In a statement, the National Parks Service of Venezuela said “Ruperta the elephant is in stable condition and under the permanent care of experts,”. In addition to this, they denied that the elephant, Ruperta, was sick due to malnourishment, instead citing a stomach sickness.
The Real Problem
Why, in a country plagued with poverty, death, and illness, the Mainstream Media has decided to report on an unfortunate elephant, while remaining largely silent on the real issues in Venezuela, is beyond me. In Venezuela, there are children being sold by their parents, some farmers just turn their food into dog food, because they are actually free to sell it. This is in contrast with the restricted nature of selling food to those in need in the form of mutually beneficial trade. The real issues in Venezuela seem to be ignored by the political and media elite. Why?
In short, Venezuela destroys the narrative of leftists who want to move to a more socialist state. Socialism has failed in Venezuela. Venezuela, a land with optimal growing seasons and vast oil reserves, was one of the prosperous nation in Latin America. Hugo Chavez, elected President in the late 90’s, used the government’s high revenues from selling the oil to increase the intensity of social programs, including healthcare, education and even government food stores. He also increased the minimum wage, banned guns and did a lot of what sounds like typical
leftist, Bernie Sanders nonsense. When the price of oil fell, Venezuela starting hurting, and hurting bad. In a centrally planned economy where wealth and trade are concentrated in the government, if one thing goes wrong, it is hard to expect those who have lived off the government’s highly regulated control over many of the markets in Venezuela will work to uphold the interests of the people of the country.
Socialism at Home
American liberals, particularly the Bernie Sanders crowd, but also mainstream democrats, advocate for much of what we now know caused the economic crisis in socialist Venezuela. The United States is not immune to the repercussions of these horrid policies being normalized. In the official Venezuelan Constitution, healthcare is recognized as a human right. Having words on paper, however, does not translate to execution and enforcement in the real world. That’s why, in America, we have to recognize the serious, tangible threat to human liberty that is socialism. We have to fight against it knowing that the words in the laws and Constitution aren’t our only recourse. Speaking out and promoting freedom are the best way to win the war of ideas against collectivist, globalist narratives.