by WorldTribune Staff, June 13, 2017
Beset by violence that has seen 84 anti-government protesters killed since March and extreme poverty that could see inflation reach 1,500 percent by the end of the year, Venezuela looks more like hell on Earth than a socialist paradise.
“Everything about Venezuela suggests this is a nation on the brink of collapse,” Ben Kew, traveling in Caracas, wrote for Breitbart on June 12. “Nothing is working as it should be.”
Kew reported that “armed police stand on almost every street corner. Every physical space is dedicated to promoting the success of the late Hugo Chavez’s socialist revolution and Nicolas Maduro’s authoritarian regime. The opposition undermines official government propaganda with its own graffiti, effectively accusing the regime of destroying the country with the highest oil reserves in the world.”
Protesters demanding the resignation of Maduro on June 12 set fire to the supreme court in Caracas after the court voted to reject a motion that would have prevented Maduro from rewriting the country’s constitution.
“The rise in anti-government messaging stands out compared to my visit last November,” Kew wrote. “Pro-government propaganda shares the streets with graffiti denouncing the regime on nearly every block.”
Police use water cannons, rubber bullets, and smoke bombs to control the situation.
“The only way I see out of the current regime is a military coup,” Kew’s taxi driver, Nelson Alvarez, told him. “Some people have accused me of indifference towards the current political situation, but I have a family to look after. No matter how many or how violent the opposition protests, the key to bringing down this government [is] the military.”
Kew said that “after 17 years of hardcore socialism, egged on by left-wing elites around the world, many in leadership appear hesitant to accuse the socialist system itself – and not the people running it – of being the problem.”
As one student put it to Kew: “Chavez succeeded in creating an equal society by making everyone poor.”