Decades after the Cuban economy all but collapsed under socialism’s close cousin, Communism, Venezuela, under one socialist dictator after another, has become South America’s most recent failed state.
Once the jewel of the continent under mostly capitalist leaders, Venezuelans used to enjoy the highest standard of living throughout the region.
But after years of socialist ‘reforms’ first under Hugo Chavez and now under ‘President’ Nicolas Maduro, Venezuelans have fled their homeland by the tens of thousands to neighboring countries in search of jobs, opportunity, and even food.
And while Venezuelans did this to themselves by falling for the romantic vision of socialism, which preaches that ‘rich people are bad’ because ‘everyone is supposed to be equal,’ many now regret what they’ve allowed their country to become.
Only, there isn’t much they can do about it because the dictator in charge, Maduro, has all the power and all the guns.
Like socialist and communist authoritarians always do, Chavez long ago disarmed most of his people, leaving his government and its military, along with local and federalized police forces, the only organizations that were armed.
When armed people rule over unarmed people, democracy, liberty, and freedom vanish — replaced by iron-fisted authoritarianism. (Which begs a question about U.S. Democrats; since they are the party that constantly seeks to disarm as many Americans as possible, what do you think they’ll do if they ever get all the guns?)
It’s been that way throughout history and it remains true to this day.
This gross imbalance of power in Venezuela was highlighted last week ahead of what Maduro claimed was an imminent attack on his country by neighboring Colombia, as reported by Breitbart News:
Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro claimed to have over 3 million armed socialist militia members at his disposal and ordered his defense minister to give out 13,000 military-grade firearms to “workers” in anticipation of an alleged attack by Colombia...
The report noted that Maduro spent a great deal of his weekend talking up the alleged socialist “militias” who he claimed stood ready to attack any of his enemies. To some analysts, the fact that he would arm them proves he doesn’t completely trust his armed forces alone to ensure he remains in power, Breitbart News reported. (Related: Venezuela was my home, and socialism destroyed it. Slowly, it will destroy America, too.)
Got that? He arms people he believes are loyal to him for the explicit purpose of remaining in power. What does it tell you about a leader who must a) take away all the guns in his country and then give many of them to b) only people he thinks he can trust so he can c) remain in control?
Maybe if Maduro wasn’t such a lousy leader, a brutish dictator who embraces and perpetuates a failed economic model on his people, causing them to suffer greatly, he wouldn’t feel the need to conjure up a ‘national emergency’ with a neighboring country so he could distribute arms to loyalists.
But that alone shows you the value of an armed populace: To protect themselves from toxic, malevolent leaders who want to keep power no matter what.
An armed populace will not be bullied, forced into compliance, or murdered at will. And that’s precisely why our founding fathers wrote and ratified the Second Amendment. It wasn’t so early Americans could “hunt.”
As for Maduro, he ceased being the nation’s legitimate president in January when the country’s legislature found he stole the May 2018 election. The legislature replaced him with an interim president, Juan Guaidó, but the armed forces refuse to acknowledge him and continue to back Maduro.