Jordan Candler / August 8, 2017

A Reporter’s Alarming Encounter With Venezuelan Socialism

Reality and firsthand experience have a remarkable way of deflating any utopian fantasies one might assume.

Socialism and deniability tend to go hand-in-hand. Inevitably, however, the initially obscure slippery slope known as socialism eventually turns to reality, though almost always too late, as one journalist discovered in South America. Politico chronicles the experience of former Associated Press reporter Hannah Dreier and her just-concluded three-year venture inside Venezuela. Dreier first entered the country denying the impressions being portrayed by the media. By the time she left, she came to a better understanding of just how easily statism morphs into authoritarianism and poverty.

As Dreier tells it, “I went down there, it was a great place to live, which sounds crazy now, but it’s beautiful. You walk around on the street and there are these wild parrots flying above you and these huge Andean mountains off in the distance. And I had a lot of friends who were my same age. They were young professionals and they traveled all over the world, and they were buying apartments, and we’d go to the beach every weekend. We’d go to these crazy clubs that were still left over from all the oil wells. And it just felt in some ways like a paradise.”

Dreier rightly recalls how the nation was once blessed with unprecedented wealth. “The tragedy of what’s happened is that there is just no reason for this level of misery to ever come to Venezuela,” she says. “It was a country that was making it.” She admits, “I spent my first year there really trying to argue that it wasn’t collapsing, because there was already this narrative that it was a dictatorship where people were starving. … I really thought that was a false narrative created by the media. I was almost like what Maduro says today; I was totally on board with that idea, that the media was whipping up a frenzy. And, I think it wasn’t until the people in my life started to lose weight that I really realized that things had changed.”

The dramatic change occurred in 2015, when crime became rampant, electricity and water began being rationed, and food and medical supplies became scarce to non-existent. Dreier herself was robbed and apprehended by secret police brutes. By 2015, the black market became imperative. On reflection, she says, “If I had a magic lamp and I would make three wishes, it would be to be able to expose the corruption that’s rocked Venezuela. There’s been so much money stolen, billions of dollars, and we don’t know where it’s gone. I’m sure a lot of it is in Swiss bank accounts and in Panama.”

Dreier concludes: “People keep saying things to me, like, ‘Oh, it’s the beginning of the end in Venezuela,’ or, ‘Wow, we’re going to see a change in Venezuela soon.’ People seem to think that it can’t go on like this because it’s just so awful it can’t possibly go on. And my experience down there has, if it’s taught me one thing, it’s taught me things can always get worse, and worse, and worse, and there’s no rule that says that a miserable situation has to end, just because it’s too miserable.”

This reporter’s tale is germane proof of columnist Rich Lowry’s astute observation: “Venezuela is a woeful reminder that no country is so rich that it can’t be driven into the ground by revolutionary socialism.” While we don’t know for certain Dreier’s political leanings, it’s safe to surmise via her interview that she was willing to give socialism the benefit of a doubt. But reality and firsthand experience have a way of deflating any utopian fantasies one might assume.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2022 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.