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Robin Beres: Venezuela reveals the ugly truths about socialism | Columnist Robin Beres

For most Americans basking in the warmth of their well-heated homes, a rapidly improving economy, and — despite the claims of the left — a stable, democratic government, it is nearly impossible to fathom the depth of chaos and suffering that are taking place in Venezuela. But for those of us who actively participated in the Cold War, we’ve seen these sad, sorry results of socialism before.

And knowing that makes it so absurd to hear, according to a survey by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, more millennials (44 percent) would prefer to live under socialism than capitalism (42 percent). And 7 percent want to live under communism.

It’s ignorant, but can these young adults really be blamed when they hear lovable old Bernie Sanders gush over how wonderful socialism is? Maybe it’s all they know. They grew up during a prolonged recession and sluggish recovery hampered by onerous regulations and high taxes. Many witnessed out-of-work parents become reliant upon social services and entitlements.

But if you want to see real socialism in action, look at Venezuela.

The nation is beset by mass protests, stolen elections, rampant crime and murder, and severe medical and food shortages.

This past Christmas, most Venezuelan children didn’t ask for toys: instead they begged Santa for something to fill their stomachs. Hundreds of thousands are suffering — 70 percent of the population lives in poverty. There is little work to be had. City streets are unlit at night and dangerous all day long.

Last year, in its annual Index of Economic Freedom, the Heritage Foundation placed Venezuela 179th out 180 nations. The Cato Institute ranked it No. 1 on its World Misery Index. The Venezuelan government’s confiscation of private property, blatant disregard for the rule of law, and severely mismanaged monetary policies and price manipulations have sent…

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