From Riches to Rags

Fellow Americans, 

Venezuela is in crisis, but it shouldn’t be.  It has the most oil of any nation on earth.  It has a favorable climate to grow crops.  It is geographically situated to support shipping.  It has a generous supply of precious metals.  So why is Venezuela collapsing?  It’s because its leaders have stolen national resources and mismanaged the economy.  Like so many other totalitarian governments, Venezuela has gone from riches to rags.  

Hugo Chavez was elected president of Venezuela in 1998.  He immediately began to erode the government’s checks and balances, slowly making himself a dictator.  He took control of industry and banking, causing massive inflation, a loss of jobs, and a food shortage.  Chavez and his friends got richer as the people of Venezuela got poorer.  Chavez, like Castro of Cuba, maintained an iron-clad grip on the controls of government until he died in 2013, at which time Nicolas Maduro took over.

In an effort to pay the government’s debts, Maduro printed vast amounts of money.  This caused massive inflation and drove up the cost of goods and services to a point of unaffordability.  Hunger and joblessness grew, leading to civil unrest.  In typical dictator fashion, Maduro used the military to maintain control over the people.  Thousands of people died at the hands of their own government.  Thousands more fled their country in search of basic needs like food, shelter, and safety.  The exodus from Venezuela into neighboring countries caused a refugee crisis similar to the one in the Middle East recently.  

What’s happening in Venezuela is the result of greedy people in power.  In totalitarian governments, honest, hard-working people are deprived of individual liberty.  They are starved out as their voices are drowned out by government propaganda.  Sadly, there are dozens of totalitarian governments in existence today.  Go to to see a complete list of dictatorships and a world map showing the locations of these countries.  Incredible!

The point of this article is to remind us that liberty is extremely fragile.  The quest for power and wealth in government is dangerous to our Republic.  The checks and balances our founders wrote into the Constitution protect us from our government so we don’t end up like Venezuela.  If America fails, so does the world!  May God bless you and the United States of America!

Dan Landi

Kidder, MO

The Caldwell County News

101 South Davis
P.O. Box 218
Hamilton, MO 64644
Phone: 816-583-2116

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