Why communism doesn't work - a case study in Venezuela
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/8/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
In Venezuela, a real-world example of how communism fails is being played out in tragic slow-motion as oil money sent to poor communities for development is squandered and spent by corrupt officials.
The Community Councils are intended to lift the masses out of poverty, but so far their success has been limited by corruption and poor oversight.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A special report from Thompson Reuters has surfaced concern that money sent by the Venezuelan government to build up communities is being squandered. The report discusses the Venezuelan's policy to distribute oil revenues to poor communities in an effort to help organize the people and build prosperity.
On paper, this appears to be noble. The natural resources of Venezuela, the oil, belongs to all the people instead of just a few. The profits of that production are then shared with those most in need, on a community basis. This ensures the money is well spent and builds supportive communities which can eradicate poverty through opening businesses and providing direct aid to the poor.
It's the communist ideal, brought to life, except like the whole of communist philosophy, it ignores the greedy corruption of those empowered and entrusted with the money.
Venezuelans who are supposed to receive some benefit from the money are complaining that it is being embezzled, squirreled away, and misspent and those most in need still go without while those with connections or who can manipulate the system are enjoying the effortless payday.
The situation has become so bad that the people of these communities have asked the government to stop sending aid.
Reuters interviewed Juan Freire, 57, a citizen of El Chaparral, a town of just 250 people. The money, he said, wasn't going to the people or stimulating growth. "When we filed complaints, the responses would always be something like, 'we'll send some recommendations'. They never gave us answers."
The problem, according to Reuters, is "a vast community aid effort with lax financial controls." The report details wasteful spending which includes the planting of an orchard with the trees left to wither and die, money used for personal expenses, and funds distributed to friends for 'safekeeping."
Nearly $8 billion has been distributed since 2006.
The entire scheme was the brainchild of Hugo Chavez, who wanted to strengthen support across his base by providing direct aid to poor communities. The idea was for the poor to see government money improving their communities and lives which would endear them to Chavez and the establishment.
Each community, as a condition of receiving funds, was to organize and form a community council which would operate on a small scale to ensure the people's needs were met. However even now, years following the edict, many councils remain unformed and others are rife with corruption. Yet, the money still flows.
Some have been successful, Reuters reports, building community enters, repairing roads and more. However, in places where corruption abounds, the people are as poorly off as ever.
The Venezuelan government does not report, at least not publicly, on how its program is doing. Reuters explained that government officials said they were not authorized to discuss the program.
Now, as Hugo's handpicked successor, Nicolas Maduro, is facing heated internal criticism and civil disruption as he tries to remain in power. Many Venezuelans, weary of the corruption and broken promises are looking to oust Maduro and replace him with new leadership.
The problems with communism are many, and the approach of giving people free money rarely works. Instead, it's apparent that it inspires corruption and embezzlement, especially when enforcement is lax. Without a better moral philosophy in place, such as a Catholic understanding of wealth and how it is best deployed, communities like El Chaparral will simply remain mired in corruption and poverty.
Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for FEBRUARY 2018
Say 'No' to Corruption. That those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption.
Explorers mapping the jungle cities of the Maya have uncovered 60,000 structures hidden in the jungle, revealing more secrets about the ... continue reading
Having never been to a major Marian shrine, I didn't quite know what to expect. Some years ago, in the summer of 2004, I made a ... continue reading
Our Lady of Guadalupe has been hailed as the Patroness of the America's. The "New Evangelization" of the America's has been entrusted to ... continue reading
The impact of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the Americas should encourage Christians in the U.S. to continue to evangelize, even when their ... continue reading
The Islamic State terrorists have issued more threats, this time against New York, Las Vegas, and the United States in general. A poster ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Are your cleaning products making you sick?
- St. Severian: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, February 21, 2018
- Daily Readings for Wednesday, February 21, 2018
- Daily Reading for Thursday, February 22nd, 2018 HD Video
- Pope Francis accepts bishop's resignation
- British Court rules: Bermuda's actions to defend marriage will stand
- Cleaning products could be damaging to your health HD Video
- St. Patrick HD
- Deadly Flu Season: Vaccine only 36 percent effective during worst season in years HD
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, February 20th, 2018 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way
Teacher lesson plans & resources
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education