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Venezuela: The Fruits of Democratic Socialism

James A. Watkins is an entrepreneur, musician, and a writer with four non-fiction books and hundreds of magazine articles read by millions.


Venezuela: It's a Real Paradise

A migrant caravan full of leftists desiring to enter the socialist paradise of Venezuela departed the United States Thursday and began marching toward through Mexico, stating they will demand asylum so they might experience the far better life that Socialism offers.

The migrants claim they are leaving America because of its high standard of living, strong economy, and record employment numbers, and hope to find a better life in Venezuela's much more equitable system.

"Everyone there has the same quantity of possessions and food," said one marcher. "It's a real paradise."

The refugees want to see everything socialism has to offer after suffering the amazing benefits of Capitalism for too long. At its current pace, the caravan is expected to arrive just in time for Venezuela to run out of food entirely.

JUST KIDDING! The above is satire published by the The Babylon Bee.

The rest of this article is dead serious. We can only wish it was satire as well.


Paradise Lost

While my first section above is satire, the rest of this article is a grim reality.

“SOCIALISM WAS SUPPOSED TO PROVIDE EVERYTHING FOR US,” says a man on the street in Venezuela. Instead, starving girls as young as fourteen-years-old line the streets, selling their bodies for seven US dollars. Women of all ages are choosing prostitution to make enough money to escape the country. Even heterosexual men sell themselves on the gay market because they are starving to death.

There is no need to guess if the socialist policies of today's Democrat Party work. Venezuela was the wealthiest country in Latin America only 20 years ago. That's when they practiced Capitalism. Then they voted for Democratic Socialism.

Democratic Socialist Hugo Chavez took over. He modeled Venezuela after Cuba. That alone should have set off alarm bells.

Cuba boasted the highest standard of living in the Spanish-speaking world—outside of Spain—when Socialism came to destroy it. Now only Haiti is more impoverished than Cuba in the Western Hemisphere. The average Cuban today eats 1/4 of the meat, and less rice, beans, and bread than did Cuban slaves in 1840.

Before Fidel Castro declared, “Cuba is now a socialist country,” it was a nation of cities with a large middle-class. The share of the national income that went to regular wage earners was 65 percent—4th highest in the world behind the US, the UK, and Canada.


They've Got Universal Health Care in Venezuela!

The Venezuelan Constitution states: “Health is a fundamental social right and the responsibility of the State, which shall guarantee it as part of the right to life.”

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The pursuit of a democratic socialist utopia has ruined the entire country, but notably, it has devastated 'free health care.' There is virtually no health care despite the proud declaration that it is a 'human right.' Declaring it and providing it are two different things it seems.

Inside Venezuela, medical care has all but disappeared. Fifty-five percent of healthcare professionals – doctors, nurses, and others – have left the country. Forty-three percent of medical facilities are abandoned.

There is a resurgence of illnesses that were eradicated decades ago. Hundreds have died from measles and diphtheria; 10,000 Venezuelans are afflicted with tuberculosis; 400,000 suffer from malaria. All because of Democratic Socialism. So much for the benefits of socialized medicine.

Hospital in Venezuela with Socialized Medicine

Hospital in Venezuela with Socialized Medicine


Starvation, Despair, Death

There is a human catastrophe in Venezuela. Babies have no food. Children are dying of hunger and disease. Suicide rates have skyrocketed. Even children are killing themselves out of despair. Their lives have been ripped apart by Democratic Socialism.

The country now resembles a war zone. The levels of crime and violence are described as something akin to a horror movie. The capital, Caracas, has the highest murder rate on the planet.

This could well be the future of America. Americans who are enamored with Democratic Socialism as glorified by Moscow-honeymooning Communist Bernie Sanders and that ignoramus little twit from the Bronx ought to take a look at a modern country that has tried Democratic Socialism for the last two decades: Venezuela. It has been brought to complete ruin in a mere 20 years. Moreover, it could happen here too.

Like all socialists, when the system fails they simply print more and more money to pay for the promises they have made. This creates inflation. The rate of inflation today in Venezuela is approaching 10,000,000%. In other words, their currency is worthless. So much for savings.


It Couldn't Happen Here

Let us not forget that in America the Democratic Party and the Hollywood stars were united in their praise of Hugo Chavez and his implementation of Democratic Socialism in Venezuela. Michael Moore idolized Chavez. When Chavez died, Sean Penn said, "Poor people around the world lost a champion.”

In Venezuela today, there is no food on shelves; very little water; no gas available in an oil-rich country; no toilet paper. The proud people of Venezuela are eating out of dumpsters and garbage cans. One Venezuelan refugee says, "It's like the apocalypse. No food. No medicine."

Famine and starvation have arrived full force. The average Venezuelan has lost thirty pounds in the last year. The poverty rate has exploded to above 90%.

While Capitalism has fed people around the world, nearly every famine on Earth in the last 100 years has been caused by Socialism.

Let us pray for the Venezuelans.


Chicago Cubs Catcher Willson Contreras Speaks About His Native Venezuela

Chicago Cubs catcher, Willson Contreras, is from Venezuela. Here is what he has to say about the crisis (5/2/2019):

“Nowadays you can see a lot of people dying because of malnutrition, because of medicine, because of no security at all.

“Socialism is not good. I think we have to get back to democracy we should have because we're one of the richest countries in the world.

“I went down to Venezuela. It’s hard to see kids from five to eight-year-old looking in a trash can for food. It’s hard to see people dying because they don’t have medicine at all. Nowadays, it’s hard to go down there because you watch all of that.

“People now are just starving. They’re just starving. They want something to eat. There are a lot of families that have nothing to eat at all. It’s not right. It’s got to be different.

"If you find food, it's going to be expensive. It's not like here, you go to the grocery store, and you can get whatever you want. But if you go to a grocery store in Venezuela, you don't find anything.

“Clearly there is a ton of people who don’t know what’s going on in Venezuela. The last few days President Trump was talking about Venezuela, I went live on my Instagram, and people were asking if I like Trump or not. It's not about if I like Trump or not, it's about my country. He was talking about my country, and I appreciate everything he has done for my country because he's making decisions which another 49 countries are following. Now we can count on humanitarian aid, which is big for us.

"I just have the faith and hope that Venezuela is going to be back to where it needs to be because we're rich. We have the oil. We have gold. We have diamonds. We have silver. We have all the minerals in Venezuela. It's hard to see such a rich country collapse into nothing."



James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on July 09, 2020:

Carlos Henrique ~ Thank you for reading my article. I totally agree with your wise comments. Well said. Vaya con Dios.

Carlos Henrique from Caracas on July 08, 2020:

Its crazy for me, as venezuelan, saw people in the Usa defending dictadors like Maduro, some lefty guys, and left politicians like Omar, are very dangerious for USA.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 15, 2020:

Michael Neibel ~ Thank you very much for taking the time to read my article. I appreciate your kind compliments.

Michael Neibel on January 14, 2020:

Well said and presented.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 09, 2019:

T ~ It is always a distinct pleasure to hear from you.

The Logician from then to now on on May 08, 2019:

Hmmm, i don’t think there is a talking point in Randy’s arsenal for falsifying data so he’s done with that, will be on to some other talking point next or a comment about me even though he doesn’t care what I say.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 08, 2019:

Randy Godwin ~ I am always interested in scientific research. I especially enjoy it when researchers set out to find one thing - usually that matches their own presuppositions - and find the opposite is true. What I do not like is when scientists are caught falsifying the data.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 08, 2019:

By the way, Leslie, the first to sure to overturn Roe v. Wade was your friends at Planned Parenthood. Roe v. Wade only declared a right for a mother to kill her baby during the first 90 days of pregnancy. Planned Parenthood successfully challenged and overturned the original ruling installed by judicial fiat by the Supreme Court in 1973 in Roe v. Wade that limited abortion to the first 90 days of pregnancy.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 08, 2019:

Leslie McCowen ~ Roe v Wade should be overturned because it was a horrible decision. The first time I ever heard the word "abortion" I was eighteen years old. That was in 1973, the year the Supreme Court of the United States declared abortion not only legal; but a "fundamental right" of women according to the Constitution.

Think about that for a minute. For 184 years the best legal minds in America had studied that same Constitution, and somehow no one ever saw anything about abortion in there. It was deemed an issue for the People to decide through their elected representatives at the state level.

The Court couldn't find abortion in the Constitution either, but claimed they saw it in the penumbras and emanations of the document—that's clouds and gasses.

If Roe were overturned that would not end abortion. It would be up to the states, so you can bet New York and California would still be killing plenty of babies. Some states might outlaw it but that would only apply in their state.

Do I think people should have the right to kill innocent human beings if they are its own offspring? No, I do not. While murder is more of a legal term, what you cannot deny is that in an abortion an innocent human being is killed by its own mother willfully, with malice aforethought.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 08, 2019:

Leslie McCowen ~ Do I think the farmer bailouts are socialism or welfare? No. Socialism is when the government owns the farms. Welfare is when you are paid for doing nothing.

That said, I am against the federal government having ANY involvement with private business or industry, agriculture included. It was FDR who first stick the feds nose in agriculture.

Randy Godwin from Southern Georgia on May 08, 2019:

So you believe scientific research when it fits your argument, James? LOL!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 08, 2019:

Leslie McCowen ~ Actually, scientific research shows that conservative people are more tolerant than leftists. And it is leftists who are far more likely to join violent mobs and hate on people who do not agree with them.

Leslie McCowen from Cape Cod, USA on May 08, 2019:

You can’t even stand democrats, what do you mean? And people who are not like you don’t define abortion as murdering babies in the womb.

You don’t share with them. You demand their rights be taken away and women imprisoned or executed.

Kemp is certain with Trump’s Supreme Court they will end roe v Wade.

Meanwhile, another school shooting yesterday, because we can’t have universal background checks, safety compliance or get rid of assault riffles.

We have seen your party’s lack of respect for dems since Bush 2000-2008. It has only gotten worse.


McConnell does NOT tell the House when their oversight duties are done. He’s in the senate. EQUAL branches!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 08, 2019:

Leslie McCowen ~ I do not mind at all sharing America with people "who aren't like me." As long as they are here legally.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 08, 2019:

Well said Wesman Todd Shaw! I am amazed at how many lefties think a government bureaucrat would run a business better than a businessman. Bureaucracies are terrible. If they succeed in their original mission they are no longer needed and all lose their jobs. Failure brings a bigger budget and a pay raise.

Leslie McCowen from Cape Cod, USA on May 08, 2019:

I’m wondering if I define the farmer bail-out as socialism, or welfare. What do you think?

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 08, 2019:

Paula ~ How nice to hear from you again. I am so glad to receive your lovely laudations. Thank you for swinging by to read my article. I sure appreciate it.

Brad on May 07, 2019:


Are you for or against Socialism, and you define for us what you think is socialism?


Leslie McCowen from Cape Cod, USA on May 07, 2019:

You don’t care? Ha! You got me banned from forums for life. And have continued your gang stalking towards me and plenty of others who stand up to you.

I mean, do you think it goes un-noticed?

It’s always the same way:

One of you will make fun of someone. Then the rest of the clique shows up with their demeaning, insulting personal attacks, (which hubpages doesn’t allow).....shuuuure.

And, you are not unique.

Every single rightwing clique in every single website is the same.

You destroy everythingwith your superiority complex. And no one thinks you’re better but you.

Get over yourselves. For once.

Its really getting old. Don’t you all have better things to look in a mirror?

The Logician from then to now on on May 07, 2019:

Poor Leslie

Leslie McCowen from Cape Cod, USA on May 07, 2019:

I know. It’s such an awful burden to share America with people not like you.

How we all know.

We hear about it all day long....poor magas. Poor trump...poor Bolton, he needs more oil.

Closed minds....I wish would equal closed mouths.

Unfortunately, We have to bear YOUZE!

Wesman Todd Shaw from Kaufman, Texas on May 07, 2019:

I'd venture to guess we wouldn't even mind an increase in public works, but an increase in those things would only be acceptable with a much larger, proportionally, increase in output from the private sector.

Things funded by taxes are forever fraught with inefficiency. The thing is these government bodies who administer such things, they have zero incentive to NOT be wasteful, as the money is coming in by theft, that is taxation.

When persons are forced to fund a thing, the administers of the program are under no stress at all to see to it their product or service is of a quality needed to compete in the free market.

Most people could read that and understand why socialism doesn't work so well.

I think I've shared that Thomas Sowell meme so many times on Facebook that it is burned into my eyes or something :)

Suzie from Carson City on May 07, 2019:

James.....Bing, Bang......BAM!!!! Another one OUTTA the park! and By the way.....James~ 100%.......Leslie~ minus 50%!! Hmmmm....any more garbage you care to share, Leslie?

We've all pitched in and bought you an extra large trash can...for all your Liberal Trash-Talk. It's OK, don't thank us. We're happy to do it.

And Leslie really must do something about that unattractive attitude you have.....makes it so hard to tolerate your babble. SMILE....and take a deep breath. You'll soon need the Oxygen. Just try to keep on learning from your horrendous mistakes.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 07, 2019:

Peg Cole ~ Yes, I see those sorts of comments often on social media. As if public works are socialism. Public works have been around since Babylon but Socialism was invented 200 years ago. And Scandinavia has plenty of free enterprise, privately owned businesses, from which they derive their national wealth. They have high taxes yes, but high taxes are not Socialism.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on May 06, 2019:

James, "But surveys of Bernie supporters find that they think Socialism only means fairness, equality and benefits. Some even think it means building roads and having a fire department. Some say, “You know, like Sweden.”

In fact, my one of my family members (a staunch Bernie supporter) posts often about the fire department and police services being "socialism." This is someone who was in the school system as a teacher for many years, leading the youth to these conclusions. I worked in a Sweden-based company where employees originally from Sweden often spoke of the astronomically high taxes they paid and why they chose to work in the U.S. branch offices to avoid that.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 06, 2019:

MAGA ~ Thank you very much for taking the time to read my article. I appreciate your awesome accolades. And I enjoyed reading your insightful and thoughtful comments.

Brad on May 05, 2019:


Another excellent article from you.

What makes Cuba survive while Venezuela folded?

What Willson Contreras said about Venezuela's natural resources should have at least made them equal to Cuba or better.

Why don't all the liberal actors in the US start a go fund for Venezuela?

Why don't they give enough of their wealth that they will all be equal and practicing socialists. They could also work for scale!

They are all basically working at the same trade, so why should any of them get more than the other?

Oh and let them have the IRS do their taxes for them.

You know, satire isn't really funny, and I am referring to my attempt at satire, and not yours. Yours was great.

BTW, I disagree with your order of presidents, I think that Reagan goes down to number 3 specifically because he had GH Bush as VP. I doubt that the Iran Contra was Reagan's idea. imo.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 05, 2019:

Wesman Todd Shaw ~ Yes sir, the Thomas Sowell quote you mention is in one of the photographs embedded in my Hub! You must have seen it subconsciously and it spurred the thought in your mind.

President Trump has worked an economic miracle. "Waved a magic wand," as Barack Hussein Obama would say. He will go down as the third greatest American President in History behind only George Washington and Ronald Reagan. Here here!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 05, 2019:

RTalloni ~ You are most welcome. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. Your comments are spot on, which I must quote in part: “Venezuela is helping the people of the USA by giving us a chance to see where we are headed if we continue moving toward socialism. Before social media, those promoting socialism could get by with their lies about it but now everyone has the opportunity to learn just how it actually works out.”

Perfectly put. And yes, it is hard to beat Thomas Sowell when it comes to articulating clear thinking. Thanks again for visiting. It is a pleasure to hear from you again.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 05, 2019:

Leslie McCowen ~ The crisis in Venezuela is the fault of ‘greedy Christians’? Isn’t everything?

I read all four of the articles for which you kindly provided a link. The assertions in them are beyond ridiculous. Your Salon article declares (in 2013) that Hugo Chavez has worked a miracle with the Venezuelan economy! ROFLMAO People were escaping the country in droves at that time. There is a city in Florida full of Venezuelans – 30,000 of them – who fled their homeland ( I know some of them). Just like people fled your paradise in Cuba. And your paradise in East Germany. Notice how many people are fleeing the United States with everything they own on their backs.

Your second article claims Venezuela was ruined before Chavez was elected and that is flat out false. One of my business partners at the time was from Caracas and I spent a fair amount of time there. It was a great place before Chavez. It further claims the U.S. orchestrated a coup. How downright silly. Coup? The Socialists have been in power there for 20 years uninterrupted. We could have taken them out at any moment had that been our choice. Obviously, it wasn’t.

You and your friends are so warped in your perception of reality that you might as well say, “Any problem in the world, fill in the blank, it is America’s fault.” Or now “It is Trump’s fault.” That is how much you loathe your own homeland.

Your other article falsely claims this is all about us wanting their oil. The problem, even the BBC admits, and that their production of oil has dropped like a rock because of socialism. WE are now, thanks to the awesome President Trump, the world’s largest producer of oil. We don’t need their oil.

People vote with their feet (unless Socialists shoot them in the back while they try to escape). MILLIONS of Venezuelans have fled their homes for other countries, including America. How many Americans have fled the US? :D

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 05, 2019:

Awdur ~ I sure appreciate your lovely laudations. And from your comments I can see that you really get it and know what you are talking about. Thank you. Thank you very much. :-)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 05, 2019:

Peg Cole ~ Thank you for reading my piece and leaving your thoughtful insights for me. It just so happens that my new City Journal magazine arrived in the mail yesterday, in which is an article about why people under 30 are enamored with Socialism: They don’t know what it is.

They have been duped by ‘Social Studies’ indoctrination in our public schools, followed by our leftist colleges teaching them that down is up and up is down. For every Republican history professor in America there are 34 Democrats. In Journalism, leftist professors dominate 20 to 1.

The standard definition of Socialism is “Government ownership of the means of production and distribution of goods and services.” In other words, everything. But surveys of Bernie supporters find that they think Socialism only means fairness, equality and benefits. Some even think it means building roads and having a fire department. Some say, “You know, like Sweden.” Only 22% know the true definition.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 05, 2019:

T ~ It should not surprise you that the most evil men of modern times were drawn to Socialism, which is an evil ideology built upon three great sins: ENVY of those who have achieved more than you; COVETOUSNESS of things others have that you don’t; and HATRED of the tall poppies who stand higher than you. And it should not surprise anyone that Socialism is an evil ideology since at its core is a diabolical hatred of Jesus.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 05, 2019:

T ~ You ask a very good question. As explained by Gary Allen, “If one understands that socialism is not a share-the- wealth program, but is in reality a method to consolidate and control the wealth, the seeming paradox of super-rich men promoting socialism becomes no paradox at all. Instead, it becomes logical, even the perfect tool of power-seeking megalomaniacs. Communism or more accurately Socialism, is not a movement of the downtrodden masses, but of the economic elite.”

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 05, 2019:

Wesman Todd Shaw ~ Yes indeed. I see young people saying, "That couldn't happen here." They have no idea. Once such an evil idea as Socialism takes power things can get ugly real fast. Surveys show that Bernie supporters do not even know what Socialism is. They have been thoroughly brainwashed by our education system.

Leslie McCowen from Cape Cod, USA on May 04, 2019:

Sure. The proud boys.

Wesman Todd Shaw from Kaufman, Texas on May 04, 2019:

I think Thomas Sowell said something like socialism has such a blatant track record of complete failure that only an intellectual could support it.

Of course by 'intellectual' he was referring to all these antifa sort of soyboys with philosophy degrees we see in our nation. They're forever talking smack on social media, but they needed someone to wipe away the tears when the great Donald Trump was elected.

The Logician from then to now on on May 04, 2019:

Leslie, from your first link, you think this is an alternative viewpoint?

“with respect to many policies, Chavez was no saint. He, for instance, amassed a troubling record when it came to protecting human rights and basic democratic freedoms (though as Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy notes, "Venezuela is recognized by many scholars to be more democratic than it was in the pre-Chávez era").”

Knowing you I’m sure every link you posted is full of holes so I won’t waste my time tearing them apart.

Leslie McCowen from Cape Cod, USA on May 04, 2019:

Learned from history? How bout this: we want the oil.

RTalloni on May 04, 2019:

Thanks for putting this together to open a discussion. Clever jaw-dropping opening.

The Venezuelans are in desperate condition. I understand that Rick Scott is calling for USA intervention. In thinking it through, yes, we need to help, but Venezuela is helping the people of the USA by giving us a chance to see where we are headed if we continue moving toward socialism.

Before social media, those promoting socialism could get by with their lies about it but now everyone has the opportunity to learn just how it actually works out. We need more discussion about the truth of it all, including how those like Sanders live while telling everyone else he should be their leader in a socialist America. (What and odd phrase, socialist America.)

Sowell hit the nail on the head, didn't he? Not having learned what it means that America is a Republic, intellectuals out of our colleges think they will be at the top tier if the policies they support succeed, but they've learned nothing from history. Thanks again for opening up discussion.

Leslie McCowen from Cape Cod, USA on May 04, 2019:

An alternative viewpoint:

Just may be the fruits of good, greedy christians

Awdur from Chicago on May 04, 2019:

You've outdone yourself here by exposing the downfall of a once great country and illustrating what Democratic Socialism doesn't merely foreshadow in the United States, but rather guarantees, if people don't wake up and educate themselves...… instead of absorbing the propaganda. Excellent article! Thank you!

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on May 04, 2019:

James, this realistic depiction of Venezuela is both frightening and eye-opening. I lived in Key West during the takeover by Fidel Castro and personally witnessed the daily influx of Cuban refugees trying to flee that tyranny.

I think you've portrayed the political Bernie in the correct light as someone who's lived off the Government for the past 30 years and accomplished nearly nothing. What makes him think he should he be in charge? That certainly spells disaster, but to those of the younger generation who've neither studied history, nor been taught about the reality of socialism it seems ideal. We can only hope that they do not get their wishes.

The Logician from then to now on on May 04, 2019:

James, Satire? More like the Bizarro world of Superman comics. Well, now that I have revealed where I got my education :-) I have to ask this question.

Given your expose’ of socialism pitted against the success of capitalism is there any conceivable reason why Democrats would get behind socialism as a cure for the world’s problems? Any reason I can imagine would be called delusional insanity by any thinking person.

Wesman Todd Shaw from Kaufman, Texas on May 04, 2019:

Why do I need an AR-15? I don't. I need way more than that. I need a tank and anti-tank missiles. Some stupid Bolshevik like Bernie Sanders could be elected, and we could see Soviet style purges, or people being ran over in the streets by tanks, like what is happening now in Venezuela.

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