“Many in the media have blamed Venezuela’s worsening humanitarian crisis on corruption, mismanagement, falling oil prices, or U.S sanctions – anything but the rise of socialism in what was once the wealthiest country in South America. Yet corruption and mismanagement were the direct result of increased government control of the economy – socialism – and in reality, lower oil prices and U.S. sanctions have little to do with the crisis. Instead, the mass starvation and exodus faced by Venezuelans are the natural consequence of the socialist policies implemented by dictators Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro. There are three main policies implemented by Chavez since 1999 that produced the current crisis: Widespread nationalization of private industry, currency and price controls, and the fiscally irresponsible expansion of welfare programs….Perhaps the most harmful part of the Venezuelan socialist project is the part that the international media and leftist figures used to praise most frequently: welfare programs. The socialist regime created social ‘missions’ aimed at tackling poverty, illiteracy, healthcare, and more. But despite enjoying higher government oil revenues due to a tenfold rise in oil prices from $10 a barrel in 1999 to more than $100 in 2008, the regime financed a growing deficit by printing more currency. Expansive welfare programs and massive public-works projects provided ever-growing opportunities for still greater corruption. Printing money to pay for endless state programs unsurprisingly led to high rates of inflation. Socialism run rampant – not cronyism, corruption, falling oil prices, or U.S. sanctions – caused the crisis in Venezuela.”
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