Ouch. That had to hurt.
For over a decade the hard left have held up Venezuela as the poster child of twenty first century socialism. The British left in particular have a long and inglorious history of backing the quasi-dictatorship against its own people.
In 2013, the same people who celebrated the death of Margaret Thatcher mourned the loss of Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has long idolised the corrupt Latin American kleptocracy, recently describing its “achievements” as “a cause for celebration”.
Demonstrations against the regime were derided as a “defence of privilege” by Corbyn’s communications director Seamus Milne, who hailed it as a compelling alternative to the “failed neoliberal system”.
It turns out the Venezuelan people were not so keen on ‘Chavismo’ after all.
The impact of Chavez’s “Bolivarian revolution” on Venezuela has been nothing short of devastating. Inflation is rampant. Nationalisation of industry has led to stagnation. Price controls have led to shortages of food and toilet paper. Crime and queues are everywhere. Poverty has shot up. Political opponents are beaten, arrested and murdered. The poor get poorer and the rich (at least those who lack political connections) get poorer too.
No wonder ordinary Venezuelans are sick of it all.
A new dawn is breaking across Latin America. Frustrated by the ruinous failure of the socialist paradise to provide for even basic toilet hygiene, Latin American voters are increasingly turning to free market solutions.
Earlier this year Argentina rejected Falklands-baiting Peronism and elected Maurico Macri, the right wing former mayor of Buenos Aires.
All over the developing world, the old authoritarian statist certainties are being swept away by a democratic capitalist revolution. The era of ‘neoliberalism’ has seen an unprecedented reduction in poverty and a massive surge in global prosperity. We are healthier, wealthier and better educated than ever before.
Well, most of us are, at least.
This fact alone rather puts a dent in the assumptions of Marxist-Leninists that we live in a cruel world where the (mostly white) rich get richer off the sweat of oppressed poor (and frequently multi-coloured) ‘workers’.
The effects of economic growth are felt most strongly in countries that embrace the full ‘neoliberal’ programme: smaller government (at least in relation to similar countries), privatisation, deregulation of the economy, individual property rights and the substitution of arbitrary corruption for the rule of law. And the voters are taking note.
Leftists often accuse conservatives of living in the past. Yet it is their ideology – once trumpeted by half the world – that is in the process of being consigned to the ash-heap of history.
The crowd of deluded youngsters who sing the praises of Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders might be louder and more obnoxious than we are. But make no mistake: the future belongs to the right.
Chris has been a member of the Conservative Party since 2010. He believes strongly in individual freedom, personal responsibility, and the power of free markets to eliminate poverty by encouraging wealth creation. Follow him on Twitter: @
The views expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Conservatives for Liberty.