Posted by DrJohn on 18 February, 2014 at 7:04 pm. 23 comments already!

penn and chavez

Sean Penn is an idiot. But you knew that. There are more idiots in Hollywood. But you knew that too. Here is a who’s who of Hollywood idiots who were supporters of Hugo Chavez.

Oliver Stone, Danny Glover, Kevin Spacey, Harry Belafonte and Don King.

Belafonte has claimed that millions of Americans support Chavez. Of Chavez government King once said

“To see what is happening here makes me feel good all over.”

If only someone would shove a microphone up his in his face and in the faces of all these idiots and see what they have to say about Chavez’s Venezuela today.

A year ago I was in Caracas and described the visit here:

At first glance it seems like a reasonably decent airport. Then after a while you notice the dilapidation, the inoperative urinal, the broken floor tiles. A surprisingly pretty Immigration Agent waves me over, inspects my documents, asks a few questions in passable English and allows me into the country. I retrieve my bag and then pass both the bag and the carry-on through the x-ray machine just before the the exit.

This is my first trip to Caracas and I was not without anxiety given the tumultuous events of the last few weeks. I had been invited to come and lecture at a meeting. A giant screen in the airport lobby displays unending scenes of tribute to the departed leader. The termperature is comfortable but the exposed air conditioning vents are not controlling the humidity well.

It turned out that the person who I expected to pick me up never made the trip to Venezuela. I called him and he told me that a driver was indeed on the way and should be there already. Within ten minutes I located him holding a hand-made sign that read “Jhon…”

The twenty minutes or so ride to the Eurobuilding hotel downtown wound its way up the side of the mountain over roads much in need of repair. Chavez’ image is ubiquitous. The Eurobuilding Hotel is attractive but not world class. The staff is very polite and helpful. The bath/shower has dark marks on its floor and if you grab the towel rack a little too tightly one of the cross bars will fall out. There is free wireless internet and there are more than 100 channels on the TV and there are even American shows with Spanish subtitles. A complete lack of English speaking television is one of the best ways to create the feeling of cultural isolation, something I’d experienced in South Korea. The pool and the palm trees cannot hide a basic truth.

Venezuela is a mess.

It’s a lot more of a mess today:

Venezuela is faced by economic, social, and political challenges: Inflation is at 56 percent, the currency is rapidly devaluing, shortages of staples like toilet paper and sugar are plaguing the nation, and the murder rate is one of the worst in the world. What started out as roughly two weeks of small, student-led protests against the Maduro administration has turned into opposition-organized marches that involve stone-throwing and taunting met by tear gas and water cannons.

One the acts of a desperate regime is to create enemies:

(CNN) — Venezuela said Monday that three U.S. diplomats have 48 hours to leave the South American country, accusing them of conspiring against its government.

The State Department fired back, calling that claim “baseless and false” and saying the United States had not yet received any formal notification of the officials’ expulsion.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua accused the U.S. officials of using a visa program as a cover to meet with youth organizers at private universities “for training, financing and creating youth organizations through which violence is promoted in Venezuela.”

Then you shut down the media that’s critical of you

“These are legitimate issues that do need a popular voice and channel for expression,” says Christopher Sabatini, senior director of policy at the Americas Society in New York. “What makes the protests particularly volatile is that other avenues to express these demands have been closed down,” Mr. Sabatini says, referring to the closure of opposition media over the past several years and the shuttering of multiple newspapers nationwide more recently due to paper shortages.

and jail the opposition:

Opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez was arrested Tuesday after emerging from days of hiding and making an impassioned speech to thousands of supporters, saying he hoped his detention will open Venezuelans’ eyes to the increasingly authoritarian bent of their government.

Speaking with a megaphone to more than 5,000 people, Lopez said that he doesn’t fear going to jail to defend his beliefs and constitutional right to peacefully protest against President Nicolas Maduro.

“We’ve got nothing to hide,” Lopez told a sea of supporters who, like him, were dressed in white to symbolize non-violence. He said it is worth going to jail if it “awakens Venezuela” to the “corrupt” justice and economic “disaster” left by 15 years of socialist rule.

After the short speech, Lopez descended from a statue of 19th century Cuban independence hero Jose Marti, and clutching a flower stem, walked a few feet to a police picket, where he turned himself in.

Opposition politicians urged calm as Lopez was taken away by police in an armored vehicle, and frustration rose as a heavily armed police picket blocked supporters from marching downtown as they had originally planned.

Lopez was being sought by authorities on an arrest order for allegedly inciting violence that broke out during protests last week in which three people were killed. He faces charges including homicide and vandalism of public property. Maduro accuses Lopez of leading a “fascist” plot to overthrow him.

Speaking of idiots, about a year ago David Sirota also wrote an article titled

“Hugo Chavez’s economic miracle”

When a country goes socialist and it craters, it is laughed off as a harmless and forgettable cautionary tale about the perils of command economics. When, by contrast, a country goes socialist and its economy does what Venezuela’s did, it is not perceived to be a laughing matter – and it is not so easy to write off or to ignore. It suddenly looks like a threat to the corporate capitalism, especially when said country has valuable oil resources that global powerhouses like the United States rely on.

Well, Venezuela is cratering due precisely to socialism and command economics. Socialism ultimately fails. Too much government control is a bad thing.

Chavez and Maduro expropriated industry, capped prices and aggressively redistributed wealth. They drove out the talent needed to maintain their petroleum life blood. And you can see where that inexorably leads.

The ruins of the Venezuelan economy hold a warning for the US. The Alinsky-inspired President of the United States thinks government is the answer to everything, spies on reporters, is considering regulating news outlets, hears democrats call for the FCC control of Fox News, has weaponized the IRS to throttle free speech, has jailed one video maker, arrested another, without any doubt is behind the unending pogrom haunting the Governor of Wisconsin, is redistributing wealth in America and is incentivizing idleness.

Coincidentally, all of the above idiots are also Obama supporters.

Venezuela aquí llegamos.

We’re well on our way.

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