The definition of a fanatic is someone who doesn’t let the facts get in the way of their theories. By this standard, hapless, gormless Jeremy Corbyn is truly (if serenely) living in another galaxy.
Heroes are important and Corbyn is crystal clear that Hugo Chavez and his charismatic, populist, socialist Bolivarian movement – long in charge of resource rich Venezuela – is a model he is just itching to emulate. Let us take him at his word and look at the prototype of the socialist paradise Corbyn dreams of.
With any sort of remotely competent leadership, Venezuela ought to be one of the wealthiest countries in the world, as it possesses the planet’s largest known oil reserves. So economic illiterates Chavez and his even more clueless successor as President Nicolas Maduro have form, as wrecking such a paradise has taken real talent. When Chavez and his Bolivarian revolution took power in 1998, Venezuela was indeed one of the richest countries in Latin America; now it is one of the poorest.
What does this mean practically? Presently there are shortages of medicine and food staples, a direct result of the government’s policies. The inflation rate in 2016 has been estimated at a stratospheric 800 per cent, with output falling by a precipitous 18.6 per cent last year, after a mere 180 per cent rate of inflation and a 5.7 per cent contraction in 2015. Simply put, due to economic negligence, the place is falling apart at the seams.