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Gus Van Horn blog

Reblogged:Socialist Utopia Update

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The New York Times, fresh off celebrating a century of Communism, makes  an astonishing report on living conditions in Venezuela. Here are a few highlights:

Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro, known to joke about how great for one's sex life starvation is. Really. Page the Times! (Image via Wikipedia.)
A self-described bibliophile -- "my life is literature," he said -- [Carlos] Sandoval is one of Venezuela's foremost literary critics and a professor at two of the country's finest universities.

Yet, Mr. Sandoval can no longer afford to buy books.


This is an economy in which even the hourly rate in a parking lot recently ticked upward in the two hours it took a shopper to run some errands.


The economic turmoil has put families -- poor and affluent alike -- at the intersection of some very tough choices, bred a stressful uncertainty about the course of any given day and turned the most basic tasks into feats of endurance.

"Something so simple as taking money out of a bank machine or buying a coffee or taking a taxi has become a race for survival," Mr. Sandoval said.


Like many poor Venezuelans, she has been gradually eliminating meals from her daily routine. She is now down to one, dinner, which usually consists of little more than rice and beans or pasta.


David, like many Venezuelans, spends a lot of time waiting in line to buy basic goods -- when they are available. The other day he awoke before 5 a.m. and stood in line for nearly two and a half hours to buy a canister of cooking gas. By the time he got to the front of the line, the supply had run out.

As he told the story, he seemed neither annoyed nor angry. Just resigned. "It's like something from a movie where you become accustomed to something that you shouldn't be accustomed to," he said. "Standing in line erodes the mind, erodes your thinking, the capacity to create."


[T]o buy a pair of shoes, I have to put together two biweekly paychecks and hope that a light bulb doesn't break," he said.
I meant to add "to them" to my description of the report. The word "socialism" doesn't come up a single time in the entire article. That fact, coming as it does from the same quarters who fling around terms like, "climate denier," is hardly astonishing to me.

-- CAV

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