Toward A Socialist Paradise: Venezuela Governor To Seize Airport
After eight years of Hugo Chávez, kidnappers and thieves prowl
See Thomas Lifson's comments on this article at The American Thinker.
By David Paulin
For years, airline passengers disembarking at
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Here’s the latest news from
Some 500 shareholders were surprised by the announcement, airport manager Henry Vazquez told the Associated Press. And no wonder: The airport already was controlled by government officials and soldiers. Obviously, there are really only two reasons for the take-over: Power and control. Socialism has nothing to do with it.
The move comes as Chávez has vowed to nationalize “strategic sectors” – including private firms in which U.S. companies have stakes in telecommunications, electricity, and the oil industry.
The take-over announcement comes days after a remarkable news conference in
"This is a government with a hypocritical authoritarianism that tries to sell the world certain democratic appearances," Miquilena said at a daily newspaper, El Nacional, which has been critical of Chávez’s government. "The government is not abiding by any rule. It has all the characteristics of a dictatorial government."
As Miquilena nears the end of his life, it is ironic and sad that he must now bear witness
Miquilena’s comments came days before Chávez was expected to be ruling by “decree.” And once that happens, don’t expect the nation’s airports to hum with efficiency.
Four years ago, I learned just how bad things had gotten at
I was wrong.
Getting into a taxi, my driver tossed my bag into the back seat, and I slide in right next to it. Suddenly, two other guys opened the doors on either side and got in. I heard the snap of automatic door locks.
Immediately, I knew what was happening. Frantically, I pulled at the door knobs.
“Calm down, calm down,” said the small wiry man who had pretended to be a taxi driver – right down to the official badge.
Helplessly, I looked out the window as we slowly drove off: The gringo traveler and his three Venezuelan companions in a taxi. Thirty feet away, two apathetic National Guardsmen were engaged in small talk.
The guy in the right-font seat opened the glove compartment. I heard the sickening sound of a semi-automatic being cocked. I knew enough about this sort of thing to know that your chances of survival go down significantly once you’re kidnapped.
I was calm, yet seized with dread. I wondered if the last thing I’d ever see was the guy in the right-front seat turning around and firing a bullet into my chest. The three of them were in their 40s and 50s and looked quite ordinary.
One flipped through my U.S. passport and, seeing a residency stamp for
“Yes, I have a wife and two kids there,” I replied. It was a lie, calculated to make me seem more human to them. They looked like family men.
They were disappointed I didn’t have more cash – so I overstated the value of the Jamaican dollars I was carrying. That made them happy.
“We’re poor. That’s why we’re doing this,” one of them said. He professed solidarity with Hugo Chávez.
Thirty minutes later, they let me out in a working-class section of
Later, I spoke over the phone with a security officer at the U.S. Embassy.
“I used to live here," I said. "So can I assume it's like it was a few years ago; that it would be a waste of time to report this to the police?”
“Yes, you can assume that.”
He added, “This has been happening a lot. I shouldn’t say this, but a few days ago I got an irate call from the head of security for one of the
“One of their captains was kidnapped. It happened exactly like you described.”
KLM, for its part, was wise to this. My flight’s steward told me that KLM no longer let its crews stay overnight in
Violent crime has soared in
Yet Chávez claims to have reduced poverty – and still crime is soaring. The more likely factors that explain the crime explosion are the same ones found at the international airport – epic levels of inefficiency, corruption, and mismanagement. Travelers heading to
Regarding the main airport, here’s an excerpt:
Once Chávez’s goons get their hands on the Charallave airport, you can expect more of the same: That’s how authoritarian socialism works.