Shameful Aussie letter shows how socialism ruins countries
TEN years ago a tribe of Australia’s snowfield socialists wrote a grovelling invitation to the chief thug who has turned Venezuela into the hell you now see on your TV screens. Remember this disgusting letter as you watch the reports of people dying from starvation or lack of medicines in a South American nation that should be rich, having the world’s biggest proven oil reserves.
Remember this shameful letter as you think of the more than 400 political prisoners now rotting in the Venezuelan regime’s jails and the more than 90 people killed since April at demonstrations demanding democracy.
Remember especially the names of the signatories to this document of shame: ABC presenter Phillip Adams, Greens senator Lee Rhiannon, propagandist John Pilger, CFMEU union officials including Andrew Ferguson and Joe McDonald, Labor senator Gavin Marshall, Muslim spokesman Keysar Trad, former Australian Democrats leader Natasha StottDespoja and Labor’s Meredith Burgmann, then president of the NSW Legislative Council.
Dozens of other senior union officials, some from the National Tertiary Education Union, also signed it, as did the head of the National Union of Students and Leftist academics such as Tim Anderson. So did Labor’s Wayne Berry, then Speaker in the ACT Legislative Assembly.
“We, the undersigned citizens of Australia, would like to extend a warm invitation for you to visit our country,” read the letter, addressed to Venezuela’s bombastic president, the late Hugo Chavez.
“We have been impressed by the great effort that your government has taken to improve the living standards of the majority of Venezuelans. We have also noted with keen attention the moves that your government has begun to make to create a society based on popular participation in all spheres of society …
“Every country has its own traditions and culture and has to find its own solutions, but what Venezuela has been able to achieve in so little time will be a source of inspiration and ideas for many in Australia.”
How sick that letter seemed even then. Chavez, parading in military- style clothing, had already seized Latin America’s then biggest oil company and started a massive spending spree, including on handouts for the poor. Investors were already fleeing. Before long Chavez was closing hostile media outlets, nationalising other businesses, and putting corrupt cronies in key legal positions. He and Nicolás Maduro, who took over as President after Chavez’s death in 2012, also stacked the Supreme Court with so many trusty Chavistas that it now runs the country in place of the elected politicians whose powers it has officially removed. And when oil prices fell there was nothing left to pay for the government’s massive spending. The economy collapsed. “Venezuela’s democratic institutions are in ruins, its coffers are empty, and its citizens are searching for food in garbage dumps,” says Enrique ter Horst, former UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights. “A small group of no more than 150 mafia- like figures ( mostly military) … have hijacked the country’s democracy, robbed it blind and created a devastating humanitarian crisis.”
So much of this was predictable, yet not to the Left, which tends to judge by words, not deeds.
What has happened in Venezuela should be taught in our schools as one more example of how socialism ruins countries.