Riches to Rags: How Socialism Killed Venezuela

A YouTube video, posted in January of this year, shows just how desperate the people of Venezuela are getting. In this short clip, a group of hungry men take on a cow and beat it to death with sticks. If you can understand Spanish and listen to the words that they are saying, it is clear that their reason for this action is because of hunger.

Apparently conditions in Venezuela have reached the point where people are resorting to killing animals by beating them to death, because they have no other means of obtaining the food that they need.

Just a few short decades ago, Venezuela was a prosperous nation. In 1950, this relatively small nation was the world’s fourth wealthiest per capita. The country’s wealth is mostly based on petroleum, as they hold the world’s largest supply of crude oil, even larger than the Persian Gulf. This made Venezuela Latin America’s economic powerhouse, an important country on the world stage.

So how could such an important, wealthy country fall so far? In a word, socialism.

It starts with money. As with most of the world, the vast majority of wealth was held in the hands of the few. Progressive-liberals of today act as if this is an abnormal state of affairs, which only recently arrived on the scene. Yet if you look back through world history, it has always been that way. A study of any ancient culture will show that the royalty held most of the wealth, with the common people getting by at a subsistence level of living.

Yet, as with any country where the teachings of Marx take hold, the wealth inequality in Venezuela was touted as a problem. The followers of Marx complain about capitalism creating a “trickle down economy,” forgetting that at least in such an economy wealth is trickling down, whereas in a socialist one, once the government spends the confiscated wealth of the rich, there is no wealth to trickle down.

It is easy to manipulate the poor masses, especially when those masses are poorly educated and there is a wealthy target to direct their anger towards. Since its inception, Marxism has done this, just as it is here in the United States today.

In Venezuela, the anger over wealth inequality led to the election of Hugo Chavez as president. Chavez portrayed himself as an advocate for the poor, an image that survives until today. The poor, needing an advocate, are always quick to follow such a person, seeking the promise of personal financial gain. As we see in our own political process, those who champion socialism (the Democrat Party) gain votes by promising to give to the poor.

This single fact has led to the rise of many socialist and communist governments. Joseph Stalin of Russia, Adolph Hitler of Germany and Chairman Mao of China were all voted into office by the poor. Having the government give you things for free provides a lot of appeal to those who don’t have enough. It doesn’t really matter if these people’s lack is caused by poor work habits, poor choices or just bad luck. In all cases, having someone offer to give them “freebies” will almost guarantee a vote.

If you think about it, every political party in the last century, which has claimed to be the champion of the poor, has done so for the cynical purpose of garnering their votes. While they may have at least tried to meet that obligation once in power, their main purpose was to get that power. Once they had it, they worked to increase their control over the people, leading to dictatorships and communism.

Hugo Chavez was a dictator, not a president. He remained in power from 1999, until his death in 2012, to be succeeded by his hand-picked replacement, Nicolás Maduro. How did he do that? By fulfilling his campaign promise and giving to the poor. The money to make that possible required massive borrowing, putting Venezuela deeply in debt.

At the same time that the Venezuelan government was giving things away, they were also taking. Specifically, they were taking away private property, as all socialist and communist governments do. Probably the single most serious effect of this was taking farmlands away from their owners and declaring them state property. But the state didn’t do anything with that land, allowing the once-rich farmland to languish fallow. Rather than growing their own food, Venezuela became dependent on imports.

The Venezuelan economy, under Hugo Chavez was a one-product economy, dependent on the government selling their nearly inexhaustible supply of crude oil. But the price of oil, like any commodity, is unstable, and it dropped to half of the pre-Chavez price. This drastically reduced the nation’s income and the ability of the government to fulfill its welfare promises, without further borrowing.

To counter this problem, Maduro turned to the same solution that many others who don’t truly understand economics have, printing money. Since he took office, he has been printing money at breakneck speed, in a futile attempt to provide the people with money. But all he has really accomplished is to create massive inflation. In the last eight years, the Bolivar (Venezuela’s currency) has dropped in value from 10 to the American Dollar to over 8,000 per dollar.

Venezuela’s economy has reached the point where things are accelerating in a downward spiral. Maduro raised the minimum wage three times in just the first half of 2017. While this provided short-term relief for the poor, it has helped add to the country’s runaway inflation, causing increased long-term pain and suffering.

People in Venezuela are literally starving, due to the poor economic conditions and massive shortages. Inflation this year could top a whopping 2,000 percent. Those who live in extreme poverty lost an average of 17 pounds last year. But rather than using the country’s limited resources to take care of people’s needs or stimulate the economy in any way, Maduro has chosen to pay off his country’s debts to China and Russia, leaving his people without succor.

The situation has reached a point where international corporations are abandoning Venezuela or severely reducing their operations. Major players like Pepsi, General Motors and United Airlines are just some of the companies which have cut back on their investment in Venezuela. This is projected to lead to unemployment rates as high as 25%.

Of course, like any dictator, Maduro is blaming his country’s problems on the United States, specifically on sanctions that the US has levied against his country. But those sanctions are against Venezuelan leaders, not the country in general. Yet casting blame is a common tactic when faced with disaster.

Could This Happen Here in the United States?

It is easy to look at what is happening in Venezuela and dismiss it as nothing more than one more “backwards country” in trouble. But in light of the history of the country, that would be a mistake. While Venezuela is a much smaller country than the United States, there are many parallels between the two, especially when you compare pre-Chavez Venezuela to the USA.

To start with, both the Venezuela of yesteryear and the United States of today are wealthy countries. In both cases, like in much of the world, the wealth is in the hands of a small minority, which tends to make those who don’t have that wealth jealous. More importantly, there are those who are using that wealth inequality to foment class warfare.

This is nothing new. Hitler used the same tactic against the Jews. Lenin used it against the provisional government which had taken over after the abdication of the Czar. Left-wing forces, most often calling themselves “revolutionaries freeing the people” but in reality nothing more than Marxists, have used class warfare as a tool to gain power, as well as their justification for doing so.

Today’s Democrat Party is doing the same, working hard to create class distinction and the resulting class warfare. Movements like “Occupy Wall Street” and “We are the 99%” are all about demonizing the wealthy as stealing from the poor. Even our income tax system declares it, with a “progressive tax” that makes it so that the one-percenters pay the largest portion of the country’s income tax. Yet the messages is still constantly being put out by Democrats that they aren’t paying their “fair share.”

This puts us in the position where those who literally pay no federal income taxes have an incredibly strong influence, voting in those who will determine how much income tax everyone pays, especially those who are in that one-percent of top earners.

I think it’s important to note here that even if the government were to take all of the wealth of the top 100 most wealthy people in the United States, it wouldn’t stop the problem. If all that was in cash, it wouldn’t even pay the government’s expenses from January 1st to Tax Day. But of course, that wealth isn’t in cash, but rather in shares of ownership of corporations, so even if the government took it all away, it wouldn’t make anyone better off.

But there’s something even more dangerous going on, today’s Democrats can’t tell you the difference between the Democrat Party and socialism. It wasn’t always that way. But the best that any of them can do is try to throw out the term “democratic socialism” which merely means that the socialism is voted in by the majority of citizens. But as we’ve already discussed, Germany’s NAZI party and the Soviet Union’s Communist party were both voted into power democratically. There’s no difference.

The progressive-liberal push to turn the United States into a socialist country  could very easily turn us into the next Venezuela, if they ever gain enough power to control the vote in both houses of Congress, as well as the presidency.

The first major step in that direction happened during the first two years of Obama’s presidency. One of the major changes that needs to happen, for socialism to take over, is socialized medicine. While ObamaCare technically doesn’t qualify as being so, it is a major step in that direction. There are those who are saying it was meant to fail, specifically so that a “one payer” healthcare system, socialized medicine, could replace it. Had the Democrats retained control of Congress, that very well may have happened.

This is a battle which will never end, unless the socialists win. As we can see from Venezuela, as well as other countries which have become socialist, such a win would be nothing more than a loss for everyone.

Even if a perfect socialist state could be realized, it would only mean that everyone is equally poor, not equally rich. Just look at Venezuela.

Written by

Bill White is the author of Conquering the Coming Collapse, and a former Army officer, manufacturing engineer and business manager. More recently, he left the business world to work as a cross-cultural missionary on the Mexico border. Bill has been a survivalist since the 1970s, when the nation was in the latter days of the Cold War. He had determined to head into the Colorado Rockies, should Washington ever decide to push the button. While those days have passed, the knowledge Bill gained during that time hasn’t. He now works to educate others on the risks that exist in our society and how to prepare to meet them. You can send Bill a message at editor [at]

Latest comments
  • It is because of US interventionism that Venezuela is like it is. Arrogance and the sense of superiority thinking that capitalism can make a difference. If the US would be a good sistem your minorities would not bee so pore. You are to blame. Look at facts.

    • The “poor” of the US are far better off than the truly poor of any other country. In other countries, the poor STARVE TO DEATH. In the US they don’t even skip a meal.

      • After you enslaved for hundred of years African-Americans and Native Americans were put into reservations like animals, as you did with Japonese Americans during WWII, of course you have a higher minimum life standard, but they are still poor compared with the 1%.

        • African Americans were enslaved for about 150 years in the United States. They were first enslaved by other Africans.

        • * Africans have been enslaving and selling each other for thousands of years even to this day.
          * Native Americans were slaughtering each other way before Europeans arrived.
          * Japanese internment lasted just over 3 years.
          The poor today remain poor because they became dependent and continue to vote for their democratic masters and welfare givers.
          The 1% are paying over half our taxes.

  • Gustav – Anywhere Socialism has been tried tens of millions of people have died. That’s not the United States’ fault. You look at the facts.

    • People like Gustav don’t like facts. They only want to take from those who have and give to those who don’t.

      • Art, you might be right. I have sensed in myself, especially after turning 40, that I get angry quite fast. But that isnțt here nore there….just me observing my own shortcomming.

  • So I guess it’s not apparent to the author that any time there is a huge difference in distribution of wealth, it leads to autocracy (think royalty) or revolution? Maybe Venezuela et. al. would have done better if overweening greed and crony capitalism were replaced with a sense of fairness and actual free markets? Just saying that sometimes enough is enough. Thanks for the rah, rah sis-boom-bah for the current corrupt system.

  • The “poor” people here eat better than i do, i work full time with two bachelors.
    I’ll never forget grocery shopping at Walmart in 2007, i felt like a big fish, my budget had allowed me to purchase welchs 100% grape juice. A big splurge for me back then. I looked ahead in line, two people with two carts stuffed to the brim. First one had food, the other had diapers and booze. They swiped an EBT card for it all. I remember that feeling of anger in the pit of my stomach then and now to this day. There was easily $500 worth of crap in those two carts.

    • You make a great point and one that is argued by so many hard working American who can’t stand to see illegals better off than veterans for instance.

    • That’s really sad to see when other people who have jobs and barely get by can’t get assistance, but if you present yourself as “poor” and a victim of bad parents and lack of ability to go to college or to pay for some type of education or training and even admit to getting knocked up by some jerk or that you have kids despite your inability to provide for them, you can get all kinds of help.

      The problem I see is that welfare is provided like charity or as if it was a right granted to some, but those who at least try to be self reliant do not qualify as if barley making it is nothing to complain or worry about. You have $10 at the end of the month, but you’re working so nothing for you. You have to be dead broke to request assistance, which seems counter productive to the idea of helping people to do better.

      Why does the system seem to favor and reward the slackers, but refuses to help or provide for those who work to better themselves? I don’t want children to starve or suffer because their parents are ignorant fools who didn’t think before they got it on and made babies, but it still rings unfair that the irresponsible and lazy get all the benefits that even those who struggle, but don’t qualify for assistance, are paying for.

    • EBT doesn’t pay for diapers and booze. Just sayin.

      • EBT cards give access to both food benefits and cash benefits. If you only get food assistance, then you’ll only be able to get food with the card. If you have both, then you can use the food assistance amount on food, and can use the cash assistance amount on other items at the store, or withdraw cash from an ATM to pay for other things such as bills, clothing, etc. .

        • Yes, you’re right about that. I only had it for food, so it was easy to forget about the cash benefits. Thank you 🙂 Still struggling, but glad I finally got off.

  • Zionist’s took control and are rich from the countries resources and the people are destitute and starving. The people need to take back their country and control of their banks. We have seen this played out in Vietnam, Iraq, Libya, and now Syria. Pushing for the NWO their plan to reduce the planet by 95 percent of the human population and enslave the remainder.

  • News alert. Its already happening in America and has been for some time.

  • So what’s next a world war or the Alien’s attacking? If the Alien’s attack we will all be in chains including the Luciferian Zionist’s. We have front row seats, popcorn?

  • Socialism is based upon the greed and laziness of the population, something for nothing.
    It is avoided by self-discipline, a contented life, arrived at by working for a living, and recognizing your own success.
    These are not normal human traits…..most humans would prefer to rob someone else than toil for success.
    It is their own fault, and the leaders are taking advantage of this flawed mentality.
    So, if you are stupid enough, you will follow the leaders down the Socialist path.
    The objections to, and criticism of, capitalism is the result of laziness and stupidity as well, but mixed in with jealousy.
    It is everyone else’s fault that you are too stupid and lazy to work for a living, so you blame the system
    No it is you that are at fault
    Have the guts to face facts ..

    • Pretty much no matter how bad or harmful something is, if a profit can be made from producing it, then it will be produced. That is capitalism. The opposite is also true: No matter how badly something is needed and no matter how good that thing is, if a profit cannot be made, then under capitalism it will not be produced. Such are the “lazy and stupid” arguments against a system which has had hundreds of years to get it right but still ends up driving straight into a wall before forcing ordinary working people to bail it out – like it did in 2008 to the tune of billions – which you were not even consulted on.
      What we live under is free market capitalism for the poor, where the proverbial ‘stick’ of poverty and hardship is used with one hand and socialism for the rich, where the ‘carrot’ of incentives is used to entice ‘the best’ on the other. When ‘the best’ drive us into a financial crisis, so severe that it’s not an exaggeration to state that I could poop on a plate and put it in charge of the economy and things would still be better for most of us, despite that – they will still be ‘the best’ and will still need ‘incentives’ and continue down the only path they know. When that approach fails, as it regularly does, despite capitalism being completely unopposed in the world for the last 30 years, then ordinary folk will be robbed blind as in the last bailouts, consigning their children and grandchildren to paying back a debt they didn’t even get consulted about. Apart from that capitalism is great!

      • Michael Anderson. Although you wont agree with this, it was actually the government that created the 2008 financial crisis. The government created the “Community Reinvestment Act” which set up a system of punishments if the banks failed to loan enough money to poor home buyers. So banks were forced to relax their lending standards allowing lending to people that should really have been renting. Banks then packaged these poorly performing loans and sold them off getting the risk off their books. Predictably when it all came crashing down the rest of society was called upon to as you say “bail out” the banking system. You leftist government starting with Jimmy Carter, continuing with Clinton, created that self inflicted gun shot wound which actually hurt the very people they were trying to help.

        • You have a few of your facts WRONG in your post. While a handful of ‘Banks’ were involved (and did not actually follow the common sense rules of lending to the poor that were written into the law) the VAST MAJORITY of these lenders were NOT Banks. They were Consumer Finance Institutions, and as such, were NOT guided, or held to ANYTHING in the ‘Community Reinvestment Act’. Just GREED. And the Banks kept them on their books. The Lending Institutions are the ones who sold them off.

          • Goldman Sachs-Bank
            Lehman Brothers-Bank
            Others, not to mention foreign banks as well. All the benefit and none of the risk. Credit Default Swaps and Collateralized Debt Obligations and financial derivatives as part of the financial deregulation. “Too big to fail,” all the benefit and absolutely no risk. Check your facts. Hank Paulson left as CEO of Goldman Sachs to be Treasury Secretary for Bush allowed himself to pick winners and losers. AIG was bailed out by Paulson because they owed Goldman Sachs 2.3 billion in Credit Default Swaps. Lehman Brothrrs not so lucky.

  • Indeed Bill. It was the same in Nicaragua. That country attempted the socialist experiment in the 1980’s. The government kicked out the U.S. backed dictator Samoza and began diverting resources into the usual places – schools, hospitals etc. So what happened was your state via the CIA armed, directed and supported a murderous mercenary army called the Contras to specifically attack the civilian population of Nicaragua. The STATED aim of your govt was to “destroy the gains of the revolution” and to prevent Nicaragua from becoming a “good example” which your leaders described as a “threat.”
    To this end the Contras specifically avoided engaging the Nicaraguan Sandanista army and were guided away from them by U.S. reconnaissance flights to specifically target the gains of the revolution – schools, hospitals, farms etc – basically the civilian population – who were terrorised throughout the 1980’s by your government and state for daring to attempt to implement a different model. People were left mutilated in the streets of Managua. Women stripped naked and hung from trees with meat hooks through their breasts, their faces daubed in their own blood. In one case a Father came home to find his wife and children sitting around the table in his home, their severed heads in front of them on the table with their hands nailed on top. This U.S supported attack on peaceful Nicaragua, showing the population what happens if you disobey Uncle Sam, culminated in the Sandanista’s defeat in the 1988 election in which your country dropped millions of leaflets from planes telling the population that the only way the terror would stop is if they voted against their governing party. After 8 years of gruesome US backed atrocities against a civilian population, followed by just a little “meddling in elections” the Sandanistas were narrowly defeated in the election. Another case of socialism failing. Your readers can pick up a copy of “The Culture of Terrorism” if they wish to further explore this and check the numerous official sources and witness accounts of the atrocities carried out. Indeed on the 27 July 1986, the US was condemned by The World Court for International Terrorism (the unlawful use of force) and later by the United Nations for its crimes against Nicaragua. Naturally both bodies were dismissed….

  • Tear down American style capitalism all you want, blame whomever you want, Zionist, greedy businesses, the boogyman, it is freedom that allowed me the opportunity to build a business and become a 3%er! Freedom and opportunity CANNOT exist in a socialized environment. I grew up in Ohio with no money, and great, hard working parents and worked my butt off. For those of you not blessed with great teachings from great parents, read a business book instead of that liberal garbage that tells you that you need the government in order to succeed! Stop blaming everyone else in America, pick yourself up, work hard and smart, your will succeed. Then, you get to pay taxes and pay for all the socialist wieners, I meant winers. I challenge you! No matter your age, intelligence (or lack thereof) race, sexual leanings, or financial resources (or lack thereof) you can succeed in America if you stop blaming others, work hard, live frugally and love liberally.

  • Very intruiging article…seem well thought ot ( and therefore no arguments) but….I have a REAL PROBLEM with seeong/reading something that has no ( none that I could see ) indication of the Source/Author.
    How can one intelligently debate/argue on ANY topic without VERIFIBLE SOURCES ??
    NOT arguing your points !!
    ( Just need to know my “backup ” is real !!)

  • Hitler was elected. Mom and Stalin? I’m on your side but a little accuracy please!

  • As a veteran, in the end nothing is free, someone always has to pay for the service, item, etc. I believe that it’s great our country helps those in trouble or needing a little help. I don’t agree with it becoming generational. I believe we must help ourselves before we can help others, Those that look and judge our country by what they consider “a reality.” The Bible says that its good to have a job, to have a purpose, and a reason to go out everyday and contribute. Those who have used assistance and are no longer on it, good for you! For those whom never needed or wanted assistance, good for you. For those who have only known assistance and pity, you are missing out on the gift the Lord gave you.

  • Humans have been enslaving each other from the moment they knew they could and the enslaved accepted it.
    Everybody gets equal billing across all lines on slavery across the world.
    Listening to someone whine about poor me and slavery, Hey, your talking to the world choir. yawn………

  • I don’t even need to read this entire article. It begins by saying that under socialism, money is held by the few. THAT IS NOT HOW SOCIALISM WORKS. That is capitalism, totalitarianism, communism, and so forth, but some people should really try looking up the basic facts on a subject before they spread around trash like this. I come to these sites for survival information, not propaganda.

  • That’s right, be a good little serf. You NEED the rich to survive. Anything else is SOCIALISM! Believe me.