What failed is a policy that kept Venezuela dependent on oil revenue, a policy that guaranteed the profits of bankers and businessmen, while the people suffer from hunger. Venezuela is clearly having its moment in the American conservative mediasphere. The government based itself on the armed forces, in a permanent state of emergency that grows more repressive with time. Once ranked as the richest South American country thanks to its oil reserves, in 1998 Venezuela elected a socialist … To the Editor: Re “Yes, Venezuela Is a Socialist Catastrophe” (column, Jan. 26):. A common misconception, reinforced recently by U.S. President Donald Trump, is that the crisis in Venezuela is the natural result of a socialist system of government. But thinking of Venezuela as a democracy gone wild or just as an example of the failure of socialism fails to fully capture the causes and consequences of the country’s predicament. In Venezuela, it isn’t “socialism” that failed. Venezuela’s unfettered embrace of socialism now is ripping that nation apart, but the term has lost all ideological substance as it is currently bandied about in U.S. politics. Among Republicans, the three most socialist countries are Venezuela (60%), China (57%) and Russia (57%) while among Democrats, Sweden (43%), Denmark (43%) and Norway (42%) come first. Slowly, it will destroy America, too. Opponents of socialism often point to Venezuela as a cautionary tale. Venezuela is a woeful reminder that no country is so rich that it can’t be driven into the ground by revolutionary socialism. Miguel Pizarro is a quasi-socialist whose crusade against Venezuela’s ruling regime might spark “a doomsday confrontation. Such commentary tends to describe Venezuela as if it were like other fractious democracies where the battles of rival parties are fierce and occasionally violent. The country’s catastrophic collapse is, we’re told, all we need to know about the terrifying dangers of socialism. 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