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Venezuelans Now On A Forced Starvation Diet — Thanks, Socialism!

Investor’s Business Daily

Want to lose weight fast? Don’t worry about the latest fad diet. Just move to Venezuela. There, the new Socialist Diet has caused the population to lose millions of pounds in 12 months. Unwillingly, of course.

A new study of Venezuela’s stunning decline under Hugo Chavez’s socialist model, still followed faithfully by his lap dog successor, Nicolas Maduro, reports that the average Venezuelan lost 19 pounds in the last year. Today, the 2016 Living Conditions Survey finds, 32.5% of Venezuelans eat only once or twice a day, up from 11.3% just one year ago. And 93.3% of all people don’t earn enough to buy sufficient food.

American Thinker blogger Ronald C. Tinnell called it “The Venezuelan Miracle Weight Loss Program.”

We call it a shocking indictment of socialism, and should be a siren call to people around the world: Bring socialism to your country, and you bring misery. It’s the one thing that socialism produces an abundance of.

It’s a sad fact that Venezuela was once one of the wealthiest countries in South America, and even now has the second-largest oil reserves in the world. It should be a rich nation, filled with prosperous people worried about gaining too much weight, not losing it to hunger.

But as formerly middle-class Venezuelans scavenge for food — some even stooping to dumpster diving and eating formerly beloved pets just to stay alive — socialists allied with Maduro have changed nothing. Maduro followed Chavez’s lead, spending all the money that the state-oil company earned on “social” programs, all the while attacking small businesses and companies and effectively nationalizing the supermarkets.

Meanwhile, inflation at close to 500% a year is the highest of any country on earth. Looking at the problems with declining food stocks and roaring inflation, Maduro decided to put the military in charge of the country’s food distribution network. The result was predictable: Massive food shortages and rampant corruption, as armed military line their pockets by selling food on the black market.

“Mismanagement of the economy has created a humanitarian disaster beyond comprehension,” wrote Ed Feulner and Ana Quintana in a piece that appeared on the RealClearPolitics website.

The country’s infrastructure is collapsing from a lack of investment, while rule of law has been rejected for the rule of one tyrant. Children aren’t spared; they’re dying by the hundreds from curable diseases, a lack of medicine, electricity outages and no incubators for newborns. The resurgence of once vanquished contagious diseases is killing off the weak and the infirm. “Cases of diphtheria and malaria are re-emerging, and the number of Zika infections is estimated to be ‘nearly 700,000′, according to a Venezuelan health organization,” wrote Feulner and Quintana.

Even worse is the chaos on the streets. Caracas’ murder rate of 120 per each 100,000 inhabitants is the highest in the world. That’s higher than in Damascus, Kabul or Tripoli.

It doesn’t have to be this way. As recently as 21 years ago the Heritage Foundation gave Venezuela a 59.8 ranking on its Index of Freedom. Today it’s at 27.0, just behind Cuba but barely ahead of last place North Korea. As with all nations that destroy freedom, socialist Venezuela has also destroyed whatever semblance of wealth it had.

If Venezuela seems remote and of little concern, consider this headline: “Democratic Socialists Make Headway In U.S. After Trump’s Win.” Yes, we know. The Democratic Socialists of America style themselves as kinder, gentler socialists. Think Sweden, they say, not Venezuela.

But the truth is, whoever practices it or whatever those who follow it call themselves, socialism is an economic system based on mass greed and class envy that has failed time and time again. There are no successful socialist nations, anywhere. Those that find this model appealing despite its obvious failures are the desperate, the poorly educated, the uninformed and those lacking entirely in basic common sense.

It is an economic philosophy of entitlement and grievance, one that always ends in poverty, wanton destruction, the breakdown of civilization and even death — as the Venezuelans, who willingly handed control of their country over to the socialists, are now finding out.