The country’s GDP collapsed by 19 per cent last year, imports are down 50 per cent, and inflation is running at more than 700 per cent.
The Telegraph reports:
Chávez forcefully nationalised more than 1,150 companies, including the oil industry, public utilities, and many banks. Their productivity has duly collapsed. Today, nationalisation is a dirty word in Venezuela and the people are clamouring for these industries to be privatised again.
Nationalisation is at the heart of socialism. And Labour in New Zealand wants to effectively nationalise the building industry by having the state buy up all the land, build the houses and decide what price they get sold for.
At the heart of Venezuela’s economic chaos lies market distortions. Petrol is sold at less than 1p per litre, costing £12 billion in state subsidies. Price controls mean that it is unprofitable for small businesses to sell staple goods, creating shortages.
Having politicians set prices is a very bad idea.
The biggest problem with all socialist systems is the broad definition of human rights. The hard left believe that these should include a right to housing, education and healthcare. But they are prepared to allow these rights to trump others, including the freedom of expression.
Socialism’s abject failure in Venezuela should be a salutary lesson to all wide-eyed leftists around the world, including many young people who have signed up to Corbyn’s Labour Party. It is about time Corbyn himself showed some backbone and condemned the flagrant abuses in Venezuela. The discredited ideology of socialism must be consigned to the dustbin of history once and for all.
Doubt it will happen.