Rich Venezuelan Socialists live the High Life in Florida
Venezuela's spectacular collapse evokes memories of other such socialist nightmares. Blessed with fantastic oil wealth, Venezuela was once the region's richest nation.
That makes sense. Only Socialism can make an oil-rich country poor. This is evidence that Socialism does not work.
But after years of leftist policies culminating in Cuban-style socialism, the oil-rich yet impoverished South American nation is now in the throes of a humanitarian crisis – near famine conditions and a hemorrhage of poor refugees pouring into neighboring countries. Venezuela's collapse is like other socialist nightmares in another respect: corruption.
I have zero sympathy for them. It serves them right to have voted for Hugo Chavez years ago. That's how it all started. Socialism is the party of wealth redistribution. People who vote for leftist parties simply want to grab other people's hard earned money. They fall for the glib tongues of Socialists who promise them Other People's Money. But while their voters become poor, the elite Socialists become rich through corruption.
Many top officials and friends of the regime have gotten filthy rich through corruption. This is nothing new, to be sure. Like other Third World petrostates, Venezuela has long been a kleptocracy, ranked over the years by corruption watchdog Transparency International as one of the world's most corrupt nations. Venezuela's corruption gravy train, however, soared to epic levels under what the late President Hugo Chávez and successor Nicolás Maduro called “twenty-first-century socialism.” Corrupt officials and insiders got rich in a variety of ways: kick-back schemes and bribes involving state industries; sleazy currency-exchange deals and money laundering; and other nefarious deals – from outright theft of state assets to drug trafficking. Corruption flourished due to a dark side of human nature: absolute power corrupts absolutely. Venezuela's already fragile democracy was destroyed.
While there was also corruption in Venezuela before it got infected with the disease of Socialism, Socialism made it worse. The reason is simple. Socialism concentrates power in a few hands. This makes them powerful and power always corrupts. In a capitalist economy, power is more diffused because the economic control is in the hands of millions of people instead of being concentrated in the hands of a few government officials.
Corrupt socialists in U.S.
It's no fun living in a failed state, not even for Venezuela's filthy rich socialists. So many have relocated with their looted wealth to first-world getaways. The U.S. is a favorite destination, with Florida in particular being a popular haven for ex-officials and insiders. Amusingly, they made a beeline to the U.S. despite Chávez and Maduro's blustering anti-Americanism and praise for communist Cuba. They weren't stupid. In the end, they believed that America – with its rule of law, property rights, and high quality of life – was the place to be.
Of course! The country they claim to hate is the country they flee to. The elite Socialists know the real truth unlike the stupid people who voted for them. Now that they are in the US with their billions, I am sure they support the Republican tax cuts. No doubt their stock portfolios went up thanks to the Trump tax cuts.
One of these wealthy socialists is Alejandro Andrade, a former bodyguard for Hugo Chávez who rose to become Venezuela's national treasurer. The 53-year-old Andrade now lives on a fabulous estate in Wellington, Florida, an exclusive community just west of West Palm Beach, which Money Magazine once ranked as one of America's 100 best places to live.
While he was National Treasurer, I am sure he made anti-American speeches for the dumb voters but he knew where to put his money - in a capitalist country like the US. They are smart people, unlike their dumb voters. You see, at the bottom of their hearts, they know that Capitalism works and Socialism does not.