From Cheryl, an American who splits her time between the United States and Honduras:
Posted on Fri, Nov. 13, 2009
It’s come to this in Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela: The president is pleading with people to save water by limiting their daily cleansing routine to a 3-minute “communist shower.” Really. This is just the latest indication of how badly Mr. Chávez continues to mismanage the economy of energy-rich Venezuela, which should be one of the most prosperous nations in the world to judge from its vast hydrocarbon reserves.
Instead of offering Venezuela’s 27 million people a better life, Mr. Chávez “Bolivarian socialism” has squandered the nation’s wealth on military armament, populist schemes and the creation of a patronage state, a prescription for ruin and misery.
As a result, the deterioration of basic services that has characterized his prolonged tenure at Miraflores Palace is becoming impossible to deny. Today, water rationing and power shortages have become recurring, frustrating features of daily life.
The article is under copyright, so I can’t just reproduce the whole thing; if you are interested — and you should be! — you can follow the link to the original.
But, briefly, it is a list of just how badly the socialist savior of Latin America has screwed up his nation. Everything he has done has turned to feces; he has taken a country which ought to be wealthy, exporting petroleum and importing, in effect, the product of other people’s labor. Instead, he has turned Venezuela into a crony-state (the term nomenklatura comes to mind here), nationalized and then wholly mismanaged vital industries, and, needing a scapegoat to distract the people from the failures of his own policies, made an enemy of neighboring Columbia, and then wasted billions on armaments to defend Venezuela against a non-existent threat. He has extended “welfare” to Americans, in a propaganda-show of subsidized heating oil, while many of his own people live on less than $500 a year.
Yet, for some strange reason, Hugo Chavez is seen as a great leader in the region. Yet, when the people of Honduras depose a leftward-moving President when he finally steps over the line and does something unconstitutional, the brave, good-hearted leaders of the Organization of American States — unfortunately, including the complicity of the Obama Administration — goes nuts and tries to restore the deposed president..