With millions taking to the streets of Venezuela to protest the horrific reality of socialism in action, how long until left wingers here in Britain claim that it isn't an example of "real socialism"?
You know the drill. Be it online or in person, you’re debating the merits of capitalism and outlining the countless examples of where socialism has failed. You are faced with the inevitable response of “Yes, but that’s not REAL socialism”. Any attempt to reference the devastation & reality of the Soviet Union, Mao’s China, Hoxha’s Albania (there are sadly many more examples pre- fall of the Berlin Wall) and socialist sympathisers do anything they can to distance themselves from what they naively perceive as faux socialism.
These actual case studies of socialism are dismissed as fluke outliers. Anyone (rightly) using them as an example of real socialism are mocked and accused of belittling the debate.
Today, most socialists in the West pretend socialism hasn’t happened yet and that we are all worse off because of it. To them, anything pre-1990 is wiped from the memory bank. That is, all but the shining example of socialism in action: Venezuela.
The current Labour Party leadership have had a bizarre infatuation with the Venezuelan regime for years. Corbyn and his pals have looked at Venezuela as a beacon of hope and the ultimate socialist paradise. So much so, that Corbyn found the time to congratulate President Maduro live on Venezuelan TV back in 2014.
Reality in Venezuela is far from the utopic image portrayed in socialist propaganda. The country has been in a recession for four years and inflation is set to reach 1,000,000%. Hundreds of thousands are starving. Those seeking to oppose the regime face horrific consequences. Many face imprisonment while the number of dead continues to rise. Almost two million Venezuelans have fled the country in fear.
Nicolas Maduro has faced international condemnation for assuming power despite numerous claims of vote-rigging and blatant irregularities.
Today, as millions of Venezuelans take to the streets & the majority of the free world unite in opposition to the regime, Corbyn has found the time to host a Venezuelan diplomat in our Parliament. John McDonnell and Diane Abbott; along with an array of other questionable characters, have signed a letter in the Guardian condemning the “US attempt at regime change".
At what point will socialists in the West drop the charade and accept that Venezuela, like every other example of socialism, is a failure? How much longer until we witness the inevitable U-turn and hear “Ah, but Venezuela wasn’t real socialism” ?
Socialist Venezuela, like every other example of socialism in action, has proven catastrophic. It has caused untold damage and misery to millions of people. It is right that we send our solidarity to those seeking the desperate democratic change the country needs.
The views in this piece are those of the author
Written by our Editor: @mometfisher