The socialist paradise of Venezuela

has been a pin up country for many on the left for years because Hugo Chavez was a proud socialist who would stand up to the US.

Anyway news.com.au reports on how great things are there:

ORIGINALLY designed as an underground subway station, Venezuela’s most notorious and feared prison is essentially a cement box that sits five storeys beneath the headquarters of the country’s intelligence agency in Caracas.

Known as the Tomb, or La Tumba, the secretive prison is filled with political protesters who are completely starved of daylight, face torturous conditions and are denied basic human rights.

Friends and family of those who have been thrown into the Tomb say the prisoners — mostly made up of peaceful protesters — are being left there to die.

There are no windows to the outside world and the complete lack of ventilation means the air is stale with a lingering stench, while the below-freezing temperatures in the subterranean cells can become unbearably cold. With no toilet facilities in their cell, prisoners are often denied the chance to go to the bathroom.

Those under lockdown in the Tomb are under constant surveillance with microphones, cameras and two-way mirrors monitoring everything going on.

The scant reports emanating from the prison reveal that those incarcerated in the Tomb frequently suffer from cases of extreme illness, with symptoms including vomiting, diarrhoea and hallucinations. But little is being done to alleviate their suffering, and activists in the country who draw attention to the plight of political detainees risk suffering a similar fate.

The harrowing conditions of the Tomb represent the alarming increase of human rights abuses which are systematically carried out by a government that is desperate to maintain control.

As the country teeters on the brink of financial chaos, the government is becoming increasingly anxious of political opposition, and their response has been heavy handed.

President Nicolas Maduro’s growing crackdown on political dissidents has become so brutal that his country has developed a reputation among international human rights groups for the arbitrary detainment and torture of its citizens.

As the economic policies fail, they crack down on dissent:

As the country struggles to provide basic goods and services for its people, human rights groups have condemned the direction the government is headed. US Senate testimony given earlier in the year by Santiago A. Canton, executive director of the RFK Partners for Human Rights, heavily criticised the Maduro government’s treatment of Venezuelan citizens.

Very sad.

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