The “nirvana” Hugo Chavez has created in Venezuela is constantly praised by the American left, particularly by Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte and others who, for some reason refuse to move to the nation with the system of government they value so highly.

What we rarely hear about is the increasing number of people trying to leave Venezuela. Why? Fears over increasing crime, inflation, Chavez’s increasingly looney rhetoric, and a working knowledge of history.

From the Miami Herald:

U.S. embassy officials say inquiries for U.S. visas rose by one-third from March 2006 to March of this year, and requests to obtain U.S. passports — mostly by people claiming to be sons and daughters of U.S. citizens — have doubled over the past two years. Inquiries for Canadian visas are up 69 percent since last year, officials at that embassy say.

Venezuelans overwhelmed recent job fairs held here by Canada and Australia, and early morning lines of visa seekers routinely wrap around the Portuguese, Italian and Spanish embassies.

While their desired destinations vary, they share a common theme: They will leave behind relatives and broken dreams, and they do not know when they will return.

“It’s an adventure. No one guarantees that you’ll get work,” Araque said. “[But] there’s no economic stability here.”

While upper-class Venezuelans have been trickling out for years, the exodus appears to have stepped up after Chávez’s resounding electoral victory in December secured him another six-year term. The president has since ramped up his divisive rhetoric and began purging the government, his political party and even the military of anyone who is not aboard his project for “21st Century socialism.”

Chavez still has a high popularity rating, thanks to any number of social programs funded by oil, but for people with foresight and even a rudimentary understanding of history, hearing the leader of your nations say “Fatherland, socialism or death” should raise an eyebrow and a suitcase.

Those leaving Venezuela for the United States should be particularly concerned heading into the American election, as there are a few presidential candidates who would like nothing more than to turn the United States into Venezuela — except without the oil.

Thomas Sowell wrote that “Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.”

Intellectual… or actor, or politician, or…

But I’m sure it’ll turn out differently this time.

All the same, I wish the best of luck to those people who, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, would rather participate in the unequal sharing of blessings as opposed to the equal sharing of misery.

Welcome to the United States. Now start helping us ensure the same thing doesn’t continue to happen here, because I’m sure you don’t want to move… again.


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