Socialist President Nicolas Maduro was reelected in Venezuela this Sunday. But many Venezuelans, as well as foreigners, believe the vote was illegitimate. Unfortunately, that will mean nothing to the current government.
In power for 18 years, the Socialist platform has destroyed one of the most oil-rich countries in the world. But no matter how bad things get, whether it’s the hyperinflation, food and medicine shortages, or the rising crime, Maduro and his supporters continue to repeat that their problems are caused by the United States.
To them, U.S. influence is what is creating the unrest, not the fact Venezuelans have nothing to eat.
To countless Venezuelans, however, this election has reinforced what they knew: There’s nothing they can possibly do in the short term to get rid of Maduro. What’s left to do? Get on a bus and leave.
On Monday, 99 people had purchased tickets to leave the country on a bus to Colombia. One of these desperate migrants, Betsabeth Casique, had to save for eight months to afford the $2 (1.4 million bolivars) bus fare.
Between 2015 and 2017, nearly 1 million Venezuelans left the country. With no hope in sight, more are expected to flee. But are Venezuelans learning anything from this horrific crisis?
Only Free Markets Lift The Poor
Maduro has never stopped promising to save the country. He wants to save its economy, save it from America, and save it from the greedy capitalist pigs.
With price freezes, money printing, factory seizures, and gun grabs, Maduro managed to make all Venezuelans equally miserable. But the lack of hope — and food — hasn’t done much for the current regime. As it turns out, when central governments have a huge iron fist crushing every aspect of the country’s economy, the first ones to suffer are the working poor and middle class.
It’s estimated that the average Venezuelan lost 24 pounds last year alone because of this crisis. With more people fleeing, nobody creating jobs out of fear of government’s seizures and price controls, and Maduro going nowhere, the forced weight loss will continue. What’s next? Famine? Mass graves?
History shows us that when the government, not the market, is in charge of pricing and production, misery and death are just around the corner. But Maduro either refuses to see the reality or is smart enough not to so he can continue fooling his supporters. The only way out of misery is freedom. And the only way to prosperity is an unleashed market.
As noted in this Mises Institute report, when markets are free, the poor can actually afford things that make their lives better. If Maduro’s dream of helping the poor was, indeed, genuine, he would embrace the complete unleashing of the Venezuelan economy.
Freedom isn’t in the cards for Venezuelans so long as socialists keep a tight grip on power.