As all hell breaks loose in the socialist paradise of Venezuela, every day brings new hope that the malevolent reign of Nicolás Maduro will be brought to its knees and put in the trash heap of history. It does seem as though Maduro’s s***hole is finally about to implode. But as Americans well know, the struggle for freedom often comes with much bloodshed.
In a last desperate effort to starve his people, Maduro resorted to violence to prevent humanitarian aid from reaching the Venezuelan people this weekend. In just a few short decades, Maduro and his mentor Hugo Chávez have successfully taken a wealthy, prosperous nation and reduced it to nothing more than an apparition of its former self.
Socialism: Now Everyone Has Nothing
Originally nicknamed Little Venice by explorer Amerigo Vespucci, Venezuela sits on one of the world’s largest oil reserves. It was also well known for exporting coffee and cocoa. Back in the late 1980s, when my family first moved to the Washington, D.C., area, it seemed like we were always meeting a new and extremely wealthy couple from – you guessed it – Venezuela. Perhaps that was because they saw the socialist train rolling down the tracks at high speed and got the hell out of Dodge while the getting was good.
Indeed, the lofty dreams of socialism meant indescribable inflation and a populist social welfare system that brought the country down to an almost unimaginable economic poverty level. But in June 2012, the socialists of Venezuela made their shrewdest move of all: They banned private gun ownership.
At the time the BBC reported that the Venezuelan gun ban was “an attempt by the government to improve security and cut crime ahead of the elections.” This was before the election of 2012. So, the government ran a classic gun amnesty program, and people obliged. Undeniably, there was much moaning about the atrocious homicide rate in the capital city of Caracas.
What was the upshot of this effort to rid Venezuela of such crime by taking away all the guns?
Why the number of homicides increased, of course. According to the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), when Chávez took power in 1999, the “homicide rate was about 25 per 100,000 people.” As of 2017, Caracas, Venezuela, reported 111.19 homicides per 100,000. That was second only to the murder capital of the world, Los Cabos, Mexico.
These numbers are hard to come by because “in 2009, the newspaper El Universal reported that the Venezuelan government started a systematic effort to suppress information on the true murder rate.” The CPRC also reported that “police began telling relatives of victims who are in the morgue of Caracas (Venezuela) not to make statements to the press in exchange for expediting the procedures to recover the bodies.”
Fast forward to where the people of Venezuela are today. The loss of private gun ownership has propelled them back to the stone age – literally. If you take a moment to watch the videos of armed police in riot gear, you will notice that the people of Venezuela have resorted to throwing rocks at their oppressors.
Venezuelans are known for their lingo – words that only they understand – and by far the one used the most is the word “chevere.” It’s been called “the most Venezuelan word to ever exist.” It’s used by everyone all the time and everywhere in Little Venice, and it means “great or good.” One could say that the forced removal of all the firearms from the people of Venezuela has been no chevere – as in very no chevere.
And now as they sit on the precipice of a country literally coming apart at the seams – where looting and rioting are the likely outcomes as soon as the government finally falls — the people will have nothing with which to defend themselves.
In the mess that socialists have made of Venezuela, sticks and stones are not going to cut it. Think about this the next time politicians or well-meaning lefties tell you they want to get rid of guns to “improve security and cut crime.”
And then tell them about Venezuela.