This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, December 22, 2017:

Former Harvard University professor George Santayana said, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” What’s frustrating isn’t that those lessons are obscure; it’s that those promoting provable falsehoods from history are allowed such public acceptance and credibility. It reminds one of the cigarette sellers’ slogan: “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should.” Never mind that smoking will kill you.

That’s why this writer holds in such contempt liars like Bernie Sanders, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and, more dangerously, Elizabeth Warren, who is already gearing up for her run for the presidency in 2020. This article, however, isn’t about them and their intentional promoting of the lie, but the most remarkable test case for the failure of socialism extant: Venezuela.

One of those most intimately familiar with the lie was Nicolas Maduro’s Attorney General, Luisa Ortega Diaz (Ortega for short). She bought the lie, joining Venezuela’s public prosecution service in April 2002. In 2007 she was appointed Prosecutor General, equivalent to Attorney General. In December she received authorization for a second term, which would have carried her to 2021.

And she would still be there except that something happened. She somehow saw through the lie and then called it a lie: the country’s Supreme Court, now packed with Maduro’s cronies, arrogated unto itself the powers reserved only to the National Assembly, removing the last vestige of any restraint from Maduro’s Marxist dictatorship. She fled in the dark of night – someday a Hollywood filmmaker – John Milius perhaps? – might turn her harrowing escape into a movie – via a speedboat to Aruba, where she and her husband then flew to Colombia.

She has been conducting a war of disclosure against Maduro ever since. Last week, the Wall Street Journal published its review of her 495-page expose of his criminal excesses, which began with this:

The young men had already been tortured at an army base when soldiers piled them into two jeeps and transported them to a wooded area just outside the Venezuelan capital.


Stumbling in the dark, with T-shirts pulled over their faces and hands tied behind their backs, they were steered to an open pit. Soldiers then used machetes to deliver blow after blow to the base of their necks. Most suffered gaping wounds that killed them before they hit the ground.


Others, bleeding profusely but still alive, crumpled into the shallow grave as their killers piled dirt over their bodies to hide the crime.


“We think they were alive a good while as they died from asphyxia,” said Zair Mundaray, a veteran prosecutor who led the exhumation and investigation that pieced together how the killings unfolded. “It had to be a terrible thing.”

These young men weren’t killers, they weren’t criminals, they weren’t thugs. They were just convenient targets for Maduro’s police who were given orders to build up a “body count” in order to persuade his followers that he was doing something about “crime.” Never mind that most crimes were being committed by his people. The end justifies the means when a government is out of control.

Dan Mitchell is a Cato scholar who has been watching the descent of Venezuela into a dictatorship and recording his findings. Some of those findings follow:

On May 30, the New York Times reported that following huge protests, Maduro’s forces killed 50 people, injured 1,000 more and had 2,700 arrested. Many of those arrested who are still living remain in jails reminiscent of the Gulag.


On June 5, Fox News reported on Venezuelan women, many of them professionals, being driven to prostitution in order to feed themselves and their families.


On June 6, Fox News further reported that needed medicines coming into Venezuela from humanitarian aid groups outside the country were being confiscated by Maduro’s people and then used to reward them for their loyalty to his regime.


On June 28, the New York Times reported that over a trillion dollars’ worth of economic wealth had been squandered by the country’s socialist regimes over the past 15 years, pushing some 80 percent of the country’s people into abysmal poverty.


On July 30, the Wall Street Journal reported that increasing numbers of Maduro’s people are deserting his paradise, escaping into nearby Colombia. In a single day more than 26,000 Venezuelan’s were able to escape Maduro’s paradise by crossing the border into Colombia.


On August 2, the Associated Press reported on the grievous mistreatment of one its female journalists in Caracas on assignment. She thought she was protected by her status as a foreign reporter. She was wrong.


On August 7, CNN reported the increasing likelihood that Maduro was going to default on numerous principal and interest payments on his enormous national debt.


On August 13, the Times of Israel reported that Maduro’s targets included Jews as well as his own hapless and defenseless citizens. In 1999 there were about 25,000 Jews living in Venezuela. Today that number is less than 10,000 and rapidly declining as those remaining are escaping as fast as they can.


On September 15, Caracas Chronicles reported on the systematic torture being meted out, long before the unhappy report of same arrived at the offices of the Wall Street Journal this week. The details of those tortures are deliberately being omitted here.


On September 26, Aljazeera reported that infant mortality has risen to almost 35 percent – that’s one out of every three live births dying shortly afterwards – and maternal mortality – those are their mothers – rising to 65 percent – that’s two out of every three mothers giving birth.


On October 11, the Daily Mail reported on a Venezuelan mother eating the remains of a cat while sitting beside a road, with pictures, for those who can stomach them.


On November 4, the Daily Beast reported on zoo animals being killed and eaten by starving citizens in Maduro’s mad socialist paradise.


On December 19, the New York Times, defiantly oblivious to the obvious, reported on the unfolding economic catastrophe in Venezuela while calling it a result of “economic mismanagement” rather than telling the truth about its real cause: unbridled socialism taken to its logical extreme.

This is why this writer holds the New York Times to be equally as contemptible as those political worthies referred to above: its decades-long willingness to serve as a mouthpiece for the left reflects a worldview of totalitarianism that inevitably leads to slavery, and they know it.

Venezuela is no lab experiment with rats being probed, punished, and then starved to record their reactions. It is a real world example of the end-point of socialism. As George Orwell expressed that end-point: “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.”



Quote from George Santayana

Background on Santayana

The Wall Street JournalVenezuela’s Brutal Crime Crackdown: Executions, Machetes and 8,292 Dead

Dan Mitchell: Six Months and 28 Examples of Venezuelan Horror

Background on Luisa Ortega

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