This doesn’t sound like a regime that’s long for this world. First it tried to essentially abolish the legislature via the courts, only to be forced to back off that idea because the public appeared ready to storm the palace gates over it. Now - never having learned his lesson on anything before, so why start now? - Nicolas Maduro employs a capricious excuse to ban one of the opposition’s top leaders from holding office in the country for 15 years.
Why? “Administrative irregularities.” What is this, Texas A&M?
The public has obviously caught on to the fact that Maduro has neither their interests nor the interests of the nation at heart. I’d have expected them to catch on a little sooner, giving how squalid things have been in Venezuela for the past several years. But better late than never, and now that Maduro is unmasked, it’s strictly a matter of how much longer his thugs can hold back the uprising.
People clearly are past the point of being intimidated:
Security forces blocked the march in Caracas, as they did during two other protests this week, prompting violent confrontations.
Protesters lobbed rocks and petrol bombs and burned trash in the street while authorities responded with a volley of tear gas.
“The government is afraid. If it were not afraid, it would not close the streets. ... It would not disqualify Capriles,” said 27-year-old lawyer Gikeissy Diaz, adding that half of her graduating class has left the country and that she is thinking of doing so, too.
Capriles, a two-time presidential candidate and current Miranda state governor, who was seen by many as the opposition’s best chance in the presidential election scheduled for 2018, on Friday was banned from holding political office for 15 years.
The order from the national comptroller’s office cited “administrative irregularities” including breaking contracting laws and improper management of donations, according to a copy of the ban.
We’ve said it before but it bears repeating every time there’s a development in this tragic story: This is the inevitable result of socialism. The state absconds with the private sector’s wealth on the promise that it can distribute it more fairly to the population at large, but it doesn’t take long before it’s clear that whatever the private sector’s failings, it’s nothing compared to the corruption and incompetence found in the public sector.
Very few people act responsibly with wealth someone else earned, and that’s especially true when we’re talking about people who have a philosophical hatred of everything that creates wealth in the first place.
This is now the nation with possibly the world’s richest oil reserves found itself with a gas shortage. It takes some kind of incompetence to pull that off, but obviously corruption helps a great deal. This is how Venezuelan bakers ended up being fined for baking brownies . . . because the nation is so short on bread that all available flour must be used to make more. Of course, if the government hadn’t done so much to tamper with the private sector’s profits in the first place, there would be more than enough resources for all the bread and brownies you want - and more than enough wealth for people to buy them.
As it stands, more than 200,000 people a year are fleeing the country, even if it means taking humiliating jobs in other countries that at least offer the chance of some stability and economic advancement. In Venezuela, that is never going to happen as long as Maduro is in charge - and that assumes you stay alive long enough to suffer socialism’s consequences. Street thugs may see to it that you don’t.
But Maduro is not going to stay in power much longer. This is not the sort of unrest you can put down with empty promises or intimidation. The people have had it. They no longer believe the promises of the Chavistas, and they’re no longer willing to put up with Maduro’s abuses of his executive powers solely for the purpose of keeping him in office.
The only question is how long it takes him to fall, and how ugly he makes it on the way down.
Pray for Venezuela. It’s a wonderful nation that deserves better than this, and hopefully - like Eastern Europe - will emerge from this wiser than the rest of the world about the evils of socialism, such that it is never again allowed to take hold there.
Dan Calabrese’s column is distributed by CainTV, which can be found at caintv.com
A new edition of Dan’s book “Powers and Principalities” is now available in hard copy and e-book editions. Follow all of Dan’s work, including his series of Christian spiritual warfare novels, by liking his page on Facebook.
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