What holds Venezuela together these days? According to the New York Times, this state is held together only by an encircling ring of death-squad gangs, who serve as its enforcers. These are the community organizers known as 'colectivos' who ride and circle around menacingly on motorcycles, and shoot randomly into crowds to generate terror. I saw them myself in Caracas in late 2005, and they were scary. Now, they are engorged with drug cash and legitimized by the state. Who could have imagined that this tontons macoute situation would be the logical conclusion of Chavista socialism?
Not Venezuela's celebrity endorsers from the Hollywood elites, that's for sure. These Useful Idiots spent years using their capacity for drawing media attention to browbeat the West into believing that Chavista socialism was the wave of the future. They were no different from the political pilgrims who endorsed the Soviet Union in its early days while the Ukraine starved from the communists' man-made famine. Sean Penn declared that anyone in the West who called the late Hugo Chavez a dictator should be imprisoned and gushed:
(Chávez) is a fascinating guy. He’s done… incredible things for the 80% of the people that are very poor there.
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