The depraved and odious century-old ideology of socialism has claimed another victim in its path of death and destruction. Venezuela’s transformation into a hellhole is a cautionary tale against adopting this system’s hallmarks: price controls, production quotas, central planning, and nationalization. But there is another situation unfolding in real-time that should serve as a cautionary tale of preserving this evil philosophy for decades to come: regime change.
Our Man in Venezuela
The U.S. and many parts of the world are recognizing Juan Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela. With President Nicolás Maduro falling prey to a coup, it looks like things are beginning to change in Caracas. While there will inevitably be a struggle for power, global leaders are placing their bets that Guaido is their man. Indeed, any replacement of Maduro and his socialist henchmen is a positive development for a nation that has been paralyzed by food shortages, starvation, and violence.
We are already beginning to witness two frightening trends.
But should this require foreign intervention? Regime change has proven to be a failed endeavor time and again, and the motivations for interventionists like National Security Adviser John Bolton seem clear: Exploit the world’s largest oil reserve, something he has conceded multiple times.
A debate over regime change, particularly in Venezuela, would be a fruitful one. If there is one issue that can bring President Donald Trump’s base and large swathes of the left together it is opposition to intervening into the domestic affairs of foreign countries. That said, one unintended consequence brewing has been absent in this conversation, and that is the survival of socialism.
We are already beginning to witness two frightening trends. The first is revisionist history of Venezuelan socialism, with leftists somehow claiming that it was a beacon of prosperity and equality. The second is the suggestion that the Latin American country was a champion of democracy, despite evidence to the contrary and common sense showing that Maduro was a dictator.
In other words, the narrative is that Venezuela is a victim of the West. Or, put another way, Venezuela would be a success story if it weren’t for the West undermining its economy – because transferring bakeries to the purview of the state makes everyone richer!
On one hand, it is true that U.S.-led sanctions in the last year exacerbated the economic collapse, and Caracas was a target of decades-old U.S. foreign policy. On the other, Venezuela initiated its downfall when Hugo Chávez ascended to power on a socialist platform. Unfortunately, during the next 20 or 30 years, leftist scholars will certainly ignore present-day lamentations and somehow defend Venezuelan socialism. They already behave in this manner pertaining to the atrocities in Mao’s China, the tragedies in Pol Pot’s Cambodia, the poverty in Fidel Castro’s Cuba, and the misery in the Soviet Union.
Simply put, the next generation will somehow dispute the facts of what unfolded in Venezuela. It wouldn’t be surprising if all the hip kids sported Nicolás Maduro t-shirts.
Regime change and invasions always have consequences. When former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton overthrew Moammar Gaddafi in Libya, they destabilized an entire region and commenced the migrant crisis. When former President George W. Bush and his administration invaded Iraq, they launched a decades-long battle that will never bring about victory and will instead leave American troops permanently stationed in Baghdad. When the CIA overthrew the Shah in Iran in the 1950s, it invited blowback in America’s direction. The examples are endless, but the world fails to learn from history.
The biggest ramification of regime change in Latin America is having socialism be a martyr and its legend live on. If it weren’t for foreign meddling, the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela could have been the final nail in socialism’s coffin. Those who might have flirted with socialism may have had second thoughts, noticing the pain and agony occurring in the Latin American state.
Unfortunately, Bolton and Co.’s decision to endorse a coup provides cover for socialism and excuses for Marxist sympathizers. This can only mean that this philosophy of envy, greed, and deprivation will survive for another generation to come. The next time socialism fails in Asia or South America, don’t impose your will on that country. Let it crumble on its own.