HOLLYWOOD, FL – A couple of decades ago, certain Venezuelans could be heard denying that Venezuela faced any danger, after being warned by certain Cubans with regard to their assessment that Venezuela was at risk of falling under the control of totalitarian dictatorship. Venezuela was not Cuba, they insisted, and such a fate could never befall Venezuela.
Those Venezuelans seemed very sure of Venezuela’s safety in that regard. They seemed very confident in Venezuela’s democratic Constitution, which should not permit dictatorship to encroach. And they expressed confidence in Venezuela’s professional army, whose officers, they said, would never allow a dictatorship to take power. A prosperous and free society like that of Venezuela, they asserted, would not succumb to tyranny.
That kind of reasoning seems normal for anyone who had grown up and always lived in a more or less free society, or one in which at least a certain degree of freedom was taken for granted. But the world is not largely a free place. And many countries have fallen under the tyranny of totalitarian regimes that once were more or less free.
One might assume that the people of pre-Castro Cuba also scoffed at the idea that a totalitarian dictatorship could ever turn a free Cuba on its head, then to bury that freedom under a heavy load of Marxist indoctrination, draconian oppression, and blood of martyrs spilled by firing squads.
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Eventually in 2010, Fidel Castro, in what might have been his last published statements to the world before retiring into seclusion, said that Communism was not even working for Cuba. But it was already too late. Already 50 years into the revolution, Cuba had seen degradation and destruction of every kind, the story of which fills books, such as “Against All Hope,” a poignant account by Armando Valladares of the intense suffering of the Cuban people under an unspeakably inhuman Marxist regime.
One might assume that the more or less free people of Republican China, Czarist Russia, and Weimar Germany, as well as various other nations now enslaved by dictatorships, felt similarly, until oppressive regimes subjected them to the madness and horrors of totalitarian oppression. After all, even though some in Czarist Russia felt that things were not as they should be, a few years after the Bolshevik Revolution began, many probably looked back on the years prior to 1914 as the good old days.
But Venezuelans of 2000 had not learned the history of leftist subversion leading to overthrow of society, government, and rule of law. Confident in their Constitution, armed forces, and the status quo, they remained cocky, until all was lost.
Hugo Chavez’s Machiavellian efforts undermined and then changed the Constitution. He purged the ranks of high-level military officials, replacing them with others subservient to his plans for leftist takeover. And one day those previously confident Venezuelans, who had ignored the warnings of others who had already experienced loss of their freedom at the hands of revolutionary elements, awoke to discover the Bolivarian Revolution in full swing in their formerly free country.
They lost their freedom, their Constitution, and their professional military. Their petroleum industry, the jewel of the Venezuelan economy, deteriorated, as did infrastructure, education, medicine, and every other area that came under the inept oversight of the Socialists, who were placed in control, while having no knowledge or ability to administer or maintain anything, and while being too corrupt to make the effort to do so. Collapse became inevitable. Starvation is now taking place.
It has happened before. It can happen again. It seems to be happening in America, where Socialists hold office in Congress and other government offices, although the law does not permit it; where they strive to infringe and abridge certain unalienable rights, although the law does not permit it; and where they openly promote Socialist procedures, although the law does not permit it; and where they permit the promotion of Socialism and Islamism in schools, although the law does not permit it.
Call it the Venezuelan two step. Today they dance around the issues. Then one day, when society least expects it, they change the Constitution; change the personnel in charge of key military and security positions; and suddenly one is in a place that came inexplicably, unexpectedly, to belong to pirates and plantation owners.
Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” That is not merely political theory. That is a clear assessment of the history of the world, the history no longer being taught in public schools, where Socialists and globalists of all stripes work tirelessly to turn America’s children into those who will support the new revolution that would end rule of constitutional law in America, introducing totalitarian rule in its place.
This warning is nothing new. But popular attention to it would be. Let’s not dance the Venezuelan Two Step.
A fuller quote from Ronald Reagan states:
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
Let’s do that. The alternative is unacceptable.