Political Editors / March 21, 2018

Venezuela’s Population Drain

Over four million people have fled the socialist “paradise” in the last four years. Freedom is the answer.

Adding yet another chapter in the ongoing object lesson known as “Venezuela: proof that socialism is a terrible system,” the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is calling for help in alleviating a growing refugee crisis. At a rate of nearly 3,000 a day, in the last four years over four million Venezuelans have fled the increasingly oppressive and impoverished nation. Clearly, a lot of Venezuelans want none of dictator Nicolas Maduro’s socialist “paradise.” In its call for greater assistance, the NRC states that the “international community … must step up efforts immediately to provide much-needed protection and humanitarian assistance. … A comprehensive and rapid response to food, education, documentation and health needs [is] vital throughout the region. … [We are] requesting an immediate $2.5 million … particularly on the border areas between Columbia and Venezuela.”

A country that in 1980 was listed on the Economic Freedom of the World index at 14th has plummeted to 159th. Thanks, socialism. When Venezuela’s leaders sold the nation on the anti-capitalistic “benefits” of “economic equity,” it’s a good bet those now suffering under these “benefits” are regretting having believed the lies. The problem is that turning around this mess won’t come easily or quickly, but there would be hope if Venezuela were to abandon socialism and once again embrace the capitalistic principles of private enterprise.

As The New American explains:

> If socialism is the problem, then what is the solution? It’s too easy to say: get rid of Maduro and his thugs and replace them with free market executives. In Venezuela the culture of dependency will take generations to repair and replace. But there is one move that a new government could take immediately that would start the process: sell the state-owned oil company PdVSA to private interests. Under Maduro that company’s production of crude oil has been cut in half, from over three million barrels a day to less than 1.5 million. It would take millions to rehab and refurbish what Maduro’s political cronies running the place have done to it, but the investment would be returned rapidly. With oil selling at more than $60 a barrel on the world markets, the new revenue stream would be a very welcome $90 million, every day. Those new revenues would flow out to Venezuelans working for the now-private company, rewarding them for their expertise in squeezing every drop of oil out of the country’s vast proven oil reserves. In turn those jobs would create other jobs as once-excoriated and threatened entrepreneurs rush to fill the needs of those workers. The ripple effect would be enormous and would almost by itself reignite the country’s moribund economy that has suffered so much under Maduro.

Sadly, it appears that as Maduro and company grip ever more tightly to power, the nation’s population will continue to flee the sinking ship.

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