Look to Venezuela | AspenTimes.com

Look to Venezuela

Dear Editor: Do we really need to send more American troops into the civil war in Iraq? No we do not! Especially since trouble is brewing in out own back yard. If we are going to commit additional Americans somewhere we should send them to Venezuela. Significant sectors of the Venezuelan economy are being nationalized under the leadership of the recently reelected President Chavez. Apparently Chavez is planning to engineer the great failed 74 year-long Soviet socialist economic experiment all over again. He and the people of Venezuela must be out of their minds!We must send Americans to Venezuela – not troops, but all the specialists on mass madness that we can find. The people in Venezuela are in need of psychiatric care. Why would they voluntarily elect a leader who openly declares his intentions to apply failed Soviet socialist principles in Venezuela?Socialism – public ownership of the means of production – was tried in numerous countries through out the 20th Century. It failed in each and every one of them. At best socialism leads to sluggish economic growth, shortage of basic products such as food and clothing, and uncontrollable black market activity.The 20th Century taught us one lesson above all – the transfer of private property into public ownership causes a chain reaction of negative effects. The inevitable end result of a prolonged socialist economic system in Venezuela is a mass exodus of Venezuelans to nearby countries who respect basic principles of private property rights. Realistically, many Venezuelans will come to the United States any way they can … legally or illegally. Just as Cubans by the millions have been escaping from Castro’s Cuba to Florida.One thing we do not have to worry about is the “domino effect” of a socialist economy in Venezuela. Normal, sane people value their personal property rights, and people often make great sacrifices and go to great lengths to preserve those basic rights. Thus, it is unlikely that this new socialist experiment will spread to neighboring countries.Fourteen percent of U.S. oil imports come from Venezuela. Should we continue to buy oil from Venezuela? Yes, we must keep economics and politics separate. As long as they make their oil available at market prices, we should buy it. We must practice what we preach and therefore continue buying petroleum products from any country that is selling them on the free world market.President Chavez of Venezuela wants the Venezuelan National Assembly to grant him “special powers” to enact a number of radical laws by decree. He is also proposing constitutional reforms which would allow him to be indefinitely reelected. Chavez seems to follow a similar path toward totalitarianism as Adolf Hitler did in Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Fortunately for the World, the industrial strength of Venezuela – and the resulting potential military might – does not compare at all to the industrial strength of Germany in the 1930s.Jordan E. MollerstenAspen


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