There is a strange presentation to a column in the WSJ. The column title is The Americas which is written by of one of our favorite columnists, Mary Anastasia O’Grady, it has her picture on the link, and at the end of the column it has her email address but her name is not displayed. Perhaps it is caused by something in our technology. The column is Mary Anastasia at her best. You should, as is often said, read it all. She weaves together the religious and political traditions of Venezuela that have led us to the current sorry state of affairs. Mary Anastasia tells us:
Climbing out of this hole will take more than removing dictator Nicolás Maduro. The country is devastated, but Venezuelans haven’t abandoned the collectivist cause. Many popular opposition politicians still call themselves socialists, unwilling to defend the creative class and its members’ right to the fruits of their labor. [Emphasis added]
It is an amazing deep hole that Venezuela finds itself in. Devastation, if anything, is not a strong enough word for what has happened to Venezuela. Here is an estimate that inflation will be eight million percent in 2019. Of course, many transactions are barter now that the currency is virtually worthless. Mary Anastasia is exactly right. Venezuela elected Hugo (Obama’s mi amigo) and then Nicolas. Not all of the elections were fair but those two had substantial support in Venezuela. External actors like The Donald might be able to help a little but it is up to the locals to fix this. Mary Anastasia hopes that the Catholic Church can help. We hope so too.