Tuesday, January 16, 2007

“Socialism for the 21st Century”

Everyone’s favorite “contemporary” communist is looking to turn Venezuela into a “Socialist Nation for the 21st Century”. That’s interesting; seems like the path to 21st century socialism is a lot like the one to 20th century totalitarianism. Via Alberto Padilla:
“Given the announcements made last week, when he was inaugurated for a new term and named a new Cabinet, we can say that Venezuela is heading towards the old communism of the last century, and more in the Cuban or North Korean style than the Chinese.
The decisions announced by Chavez are very similar to those taken in the early years of the Cuban Revolution.

Saying that these were strategic sectors from the point of view of national interests, Chavez announced the nationalization of CANTV, Venezuela's largest telephone company which is controlled by Verizon, as well as the production and distribution of electricity.

Although in the latter case he did not mention names, one of the most important electric power companies in Venezuela is Electricidad de Caracas, which belongs to the U.S. company AES.

And although the government has said there will be compensation for investors, it is far from clear that this compensation will be by market rules -- that investors will be compensated for the real market value of the properties they are being forced to hand over. And, of course, it is even more doubtful that a company that belongs to a government will offer even an adequate level of service and efficiency.

At the same time President Chavez announced that the license of Radio Caracas Televisión, a national television network, would not be renewed. He accuses the company of having backed an attempted coup against him.”

I am sure that some will say these tactics are “necessary” in creating a better world inside Venezuela, but those same arguments have been used by every single totalitarian government that hoped to reshape its country and people.

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