In his address Tuesday to the United Nations, President Trump called for the “restoration of democracy” in Venezuela and used the once prosperous nation’s demise as an illustration of why every country on earth “should resist socialism and the misery that it brings to everyone.”
Trump, announcing new sanctions against “the repressive regime,” said the world is “witnessing a human tragedy” in Venezuela, where the IMF projects the inflation rate will hit 1 million percent this year as people struggle to find basic necessities.
“More than 2 million people have fled the anguish inflicted by the socialist Maduro regime and its Cuban sponsors,” he said.
Trump noted that “not long ago,” prior to the election of socialist revolutionary president Hugo Chavez in 1998, Venezuela “was one of the richest countries on earth.”
“Today socialism has bankrupted the oil-rich nation and has driven its people into abject poverty,” he said.
Trump then moved to his universal lesson for the leaders gathered Tuesday at U.N. headquarters in New York City.
“Basically, everywhere socialism or communism has been tried it has produced suffering, corruption and decay,” he said. “Socialism’s thirst for power leads to expansion, incursion and oppression.
“All nations of the world should resist socialism and the misery that it brings to everyone,” the president declared.
In his U.N. address, Trump also criticized Iran’s mullah-led, Islamic regime as a “corrupt dictatorship” that sows “chaos, death and destruction.”
Venezuela’s sharp decline is documented in the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom. In 1995, the first year of the index, Venezuela scored 59.8 on its 0-to-100 scale, more than two points above the world average.
Under Chavez and his hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela has moved to second place on the list of the world’s most economically repressed countries, behind only communist North Korea.
Amnesty International issued a report earlier this month saying millions have been forced to leave their possessions behind and walk to neighboring countries to escape the poverty along with human rights violations such as “arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial executions, torture and violations of their rights to food and health.”
A New York Times headline last December summed up the tragedy: “As Venezuela Collapses, Children Are Dying Of Hunger.”