The story is always the same; it is only the names that change. This time the name is Kevin Lara Lugo. He died on his 16th birthday. The New York Times reports that he had spent the previous day foraging for food in an empty lot because there was none at home. The family had gone without for three days, and they were getting weak, so he went out to find something, anything, to eat. What he did find turned out to be poisonous. Because the hospital lacked the simplest supplies needed to save him, the boy died on a gurney while his mother stood by helplessly.
His aunt told Nicholas Casey, the Times reporter, that “the boy [died] for no reason at all.” But that is not correct. The boy died because he was killed by Socialism, the most ruthless man-made killer the world has ever known.
In Venezuela, as a direct result of the Socialist revolution brought about by Hugo Chavez, there are widespread shortages of food and medicine. Doctors lack water to clean operating tables, and there are food riots. But Venezuela is just the latest to go down this path. People starve to death in North Korea every day. The most conservative estimates of North Korean starvation deaths in the late 1990s are in the neighborhood of 250,000 with some estimates greater by an order of magnitude.
During 1932-33 Joseph Stalin deliberately starved to death between 3 and 7 million Ukrainians in what Ukrainians call the Holodomor. This took place within a larger collapse of Soviet agriculture that accompanied–was caused by– the collectivization of the farms. Kazakhstan was particularly hard hit, losing about 2 million to starvation. From 1919 through 1933 Kazakhstan lost more than half its population as a result of the Soviet imposition of collective farming.
At the moment Cuba, which imports 80% of its food, is going through one of its periodic food shortages, and is looking north to U.S. farmers for help. And if you look at a list of 40 countries where people are going hungry you will find names like Zimbabwe, Chad, Liberia, Mali, Republic of Congo, Haiti, India, Nicaragua, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Sudan, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Uganda and Nepal. And that list leaves out places like Syria.
Not a capitalist one in the bunch. Not one. Every single one of them represents some stripe of collectivism. Call it socialism, communism, fascism, planned economy or whatever you want. The result is always the same. Bureaucrats and politicians, not business people and entrepreneurs make key economic decisions. As a result, the poor and vulnerable, those without political connections, are left to deal with predictable shortages of food and medicines. Make no mistake: these shortages are brought about by the politicians and bureaucrats who substitute central planning, bureaucratic control and regulation for free markets.
Which begs the question. Why is it that the activists who seem to be constantly staging marches for social justice are nowhere to be found protesting the plight of Venezuelans? Where are Bernie Sanders and the professional left? After all, Bernie Sanders has spent his entire political career advocating for the policies that have produced the predictable (and predicted) disaster in Venezuela. Shouldn’t he have some explaining to do? Believe it or not Sanders actually described food lines as a good thing. He said, “You know, it’s funny. Sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is when people are lining up for food. That’s a good thing. In other countries, people don’t line up for food. The rich get the food and the poor starve to death.”
Please see the John Stossel You Tube segment below.
So the question needs to be asked. Why does the mainstream press give Sanders (and his ilk) a pass? Why are his campus followers, decked out in their Che branded T-shirts, treated as idealists rather than as dupes? Let’s be clear. The collectivist ideology they so enthusiastically and foolishly embrace is what ultimately killed Kevin Lara Lugo on his 16th birthday.
Kevin Lara Lugo, born 2000, died 2016. RIP.