Saturday, February 6, 2016

Venezuela Is Socialist, Senator Sanders. Any Questions? But, but if only the right people were in charge! Socialism is built upon ignorance, envy and a list of enemies. See second story for the latest socialist success story

Venezuela Is Socialist, Senator Sanders. Any Questions? 

People wait in line to buy eggs at government regulated prices in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016. There is currently a shortage of eggs in the country, and people wait in line for at least an hour to buy them. The IMF warned last Friday that inflation would more than double in the economically struggling South American country. (AP)
People wait in line to buy eggs at government regulated prices in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016. There is currently a shortage of eggs in the country, and people wait in line for at least an hour to buy them. The IMF warned last Friday that inflation would more than double in the economically struggling South American country. (AP)

Socialism: Like a skyscraper crane about to topple in high winds, Venezuela is teetering on the brink of a horrific economic collapse. It was brought on by one thing: socialism, taken to the hilt.
Yet incredibly, neither Bernie Sanders nor his voters make this connection.
It’s worrisome that so many Americans see socialism in a favorable light these days. A May 2015 YouGov poll showed that socialism was viewed favored favorably by 43% of Democrats, while a June 2015 Gallup poll showed that 47% of Americans would vote for a socialist.
It points to a collective loss of memory. After all, it’s been decades since the fact that the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet empire collapsed. As chess champion Garry Kasparov has noted in “Winter Is Coming,” there have been no truth commissions or victory parades to institutionalize the monstrous idea’s discreditation and demise. In fact, the idea seems to be resurging in the U.S. Democratic Party, even with examples of its failures continuing, the latest example being Venezuela.
That reality of socialism and its horrific results is mocked by Sanders himself, who denies it has anything to do with his own ideas. “I myself don’t use the word socialism,” he told a University of Vermont student publication in 1976 “because people have been brainwashed into thinking socialism automatically means slave-labor camps, dictatorship and lack of freedom of speech.”
Brainwashed? The very word comes from socialist indoctrination practices. Sanders’ flip dismissal of those realities reminds us of a quote from Nobel Prize winner and author of “The Gulag Archipelago” Aleksander Solzhenitsyn: “Or do they refuse to see?”  Yes, Sanders and his followers refuse.
Even the absence of slave-labor camps, in say, socialist Venezuela, doesn’t get Sanders off the hook. Right now Venezuelans are at the logical conclusion of 18 years of democratic socialism, the kind Sanders has praised in the past, and even benefited from, as he accepted Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez’s oil largesse — stolen from Venezuela’s people — for Vermont.
Today Venezuela, with the world’s largest oil reserves is, believe it or not, importing oil. It’s a perfect illustration of Nobel-winning economist Milton Friedman’s well known saying that if the Sahara took up socialism, there would soon be a shortage of sand.
Socialism has also led to massive shortages of food, toilet paper, diapers and medicine, among many other things, all the result of state planning and currency controls and rampant inflation. After 18 years of socialist spending, inflation has hit 720%, the IMF says. And don’t forget that Venezuela also has the world’s highest crime rate, with Caracas rated the world’s most dangerous city by the Citizens’ Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice.
Socialist Venezuela is on the verge of a massive Argentina-sized sovereign debt default, with $10 billion in debt payments due this year, and only $8 billion left to buy imports such as food, according to an appalling analysis in the Financial Times by Ricardo Hausmann. Meanwhile, Venezuela ranks No. 1 in the world on economist Steve Hanke’s Cato Institute “Misery Index” which is his measure of each nations’ combined inflation, unemployment and interest rates. Friday, Reuters reported that Venezuela was were desperately trying to swap out their gold reserves with German banks to survive a little longer. No surprise, investment banks say they’re looking at an 80% chance of a default. Blogger Miguel Octavio of The Devil’s Excrement reported this week that the Caracas airport was full of weeping families sending their young people into exile abroad.
That’s the part of socialism Bernie Sanders doesn’t want to talk about. It’s the same wherever it’s tried. Voters fall for it over and over, and all it brings is failure. Sanders is only continuing the con. When is he going to be called on it?

Zika virus turns deadly in Venezuela because of acute medicine shortage

  • Padre e hija con Zika.jpg
The outbreak of the Zika virus in Venezuela, mixed with the economic crisis and the government’s secrecy about health data, has created a “perfect storm” that has already killed 11 people.
Those infected, approximately 118,000 since the start of 2016, the face a tough task of finding the medicines needed to treat the disease and its possible complications given the acute shortage of goods affecting the country for more than two years now.
While Zika itself is not a serious condition, it has been linked to a rare but severe neurological disorder called Guillain-Barré syndrome, among other things. If not treated right, the condition can cause death or irreversible damage.
The two known treatments, intravenous immunoglobulin and plasmapheresis are currently not available in Venezuela due to lack of supplies.
The 11 Zika patients who have died in Caracas and other cities did not have access to the needed doses of immunoglobulin-g or albumin, according to published reports.
Physician Jose Felix Oletta, Venezuela’s health secretary between 1997 and 1999, warned the situation could get worst in the following weeks.
“The government has announced the import of 3,000 doses of immunoglobulin-g for the first trimester of 2016, but we estimate the real need for that time period is 26,000 doses,” the physician told Fox News Latino.
According to data collected by Oletta from epidemiological divisions around the country, in Venezuela there have been 436,000 probable cases of Zika since July of last year. Experts believe 1 in 1,570 patients infected with the Zika virus have developed Guillain-Barré.
“We could have 750 cases of the neurological disorder in the first three months of 2016. This is the worst situation of Guillain-Barré in Venezuela’s history and we are not prepared for it,” Oletta said.
Sadly, Venezuela used to produce the antibody immunoglobulin-g and albumin, a protein, up until August of last year, when state-owned company Quimbiotec was shut down for restoration and repairs.
Nixon Berrios, head of Quimbiotec´s workers union, told FNL the company first handpicked a company to do the repairs, which had to be interrupted months later. “They had to stop the work to hire a new provider following the bidding procedure [stipulated by law],” Berrios said. “The work is still unfinished.”
Quimbiotec is scheduled to reopen in the next few weeks, but now faces another problem, according to the union leader: “We don’t have the resources needed to produce [immunoglobulin-g and albumin]. Eighty percent of those [supplies] are imported and the government hasn’t approved the dollars to buy them,” he explained.
The sharp drop in oil prices has reduced Venezuela’s income dramatically — according to the Pharmaceutical Federation of Venezuela, the government currently owes pharma companies more than $4 billion. Doctors here are forced to work with 20 percent of medicines typically available in developed countries.
People infected with Zika can’t even find acetaminophen, prescribed for the muscles pain and headache, or the anti-allergic meds to alleviate the rashes.
But while those two can be easily bought in other countries and imported, that’s not the case with immunoglobulin-g and albumin, which have to be kept under a specific temperature and shipped in special conditions.
“People depend on the government,” Berrios told FNL, “because it can only be imported with a proper license.”
Meanwhile, Venezuelans are forced to navigate the Zika epidemic in the dark, since the Venezuelan government has not released official data about the spread of the virus in the country.
“The government admits to only 4,700 cases of Zika and 255 of Guillain-Barré. They are not recognizing the problem, which started in July of last year,” Oletta said — far from the 436,000 cases independently surveyed by him.
Venezuela’s handling of the Zika crisis is also hurting its neighbors’ fight against the disease. Earlier this week, Colombia’s Health minister Alejandro Gaviria expressed his concerns in a radio interview.
“The issue of the border with Venezuela makes things harder,” he said.
In fact, people infected in Venezuela are believed to have exported the virus to the U.S. – where last week a patient in Texas said he was infected after having sex with someone who had visited the country – Argentina, Spain and Peru.
“This could be prevented with better controls and if the government finally acknowledges the problem and takes the necessary steps to solve it,” Oletta, the former Heath secretary, said.

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