Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The left's silence on the end of Venezuelan socialism

Photo: By Valter Campanato/ABr

The growing crisis of Nicolas Maduro's regime in Venezuela has attracted much media coverage over the last few days. Shortages of everything from basic staple foods to toilet paper have made this socialist "paradise" as the far left would have you believe a nightmare for ordinary people who just happen to live there.

The Times reported yesterday that Maduro was "planning military exercises" in an attempt to crack down on growing disquiet on in the towns and cities across the country. previously he has made threats that his regime will never relinquish power no matter what the results of any election may bring.

The failure of this anti-imperialist/socialist regime is clear for all to see. The Telegraph reports:

Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves, which have earned more than one trillion dollars since 1999. Yet such is the crisis in the country that the only contemporary comparison that can be made is with Zimbabwe’s meltdown under Robert Mugabe. Venezuela has the world’s worst inflation, currently about 180 per cent and predicted to rise almost tenfold next year. Yet for all the money being printed, there is almost nothing to buy in shops, with shortages from flour and nappies to medicines and underwear. Desperate people queue from the middle of the night outside supermarkets; tear gas had to be fired to disperse hundreds of looters after a lorry carrying salt and shampoo crashed.

...Seven in ten are of them in poverty, many reduced to smuggling goods over borders to survive. Cities are cursed with violent crime. Corruption is rife. Amid power cuts, the government had to plead with women not to waste energy by using hair dryers while public sector workers were put on a two-day working week.

Amongst the most vociferous supporters of Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez are the likes of Jeremy Corbyn, Seamus Milne and a number of trade unions including the civil service union PCS. I wonder how Mark Serwotka's members would react to living under such a regime?

Venezuela Solidarity Campaign

Yet when it comes to failure the left is quiet. Nay a word in the latest Socialist Worker or it's tedious rival The Socialist. There is a Venezuela Solidarity Campaign and their website tries to blame the current crisis on everybody but the true culprits, the regime itself.

At some stage the situation is going to break and when Maduro's tanks are on the streets suppressing legitimate protest, just who will the left be in solidarity with?

It won't be the ordinary working people of Venezuela. That's for certain.

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