Many people talk about how the push for socialism started with Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Kamala Harris and ultimately in the hands of Joe Biden, but I beg to differ.
You see, I saw the parallels long before anyone had ever heard of the first three mentioned characters. It was during the election of 2008, where the Socialist Party USA and Communist Party USA endorsed not only Barack Obama but also the entire Democratic Party Platform that I knew our days of a free America might be taking a turn towards socialism. I carefully examined the way the Democrats and Obama treated the constitution and the people.
This despite the rhetoric of Obama himself at the 2004 Democratic Convention saying “ There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.” He was interviewed early on, and before being elected, he claimed he was a moderate. This reminded me of when Hugo Chavez was interviewed by Jorge Ramos in 1999 and was asked if he would nationalize industry and he adamantly said “no.” We know how that story ended!
This is why I’ve been a relentless warrior in trying to show the parallels of the Democrats and the Chavistas. President Donald Trump is constantly saying that America will never be a socialist country, so I don’t understand how anyone -especially Venezuelan Americans- can say he’s exactly like Hugo Chavez.
They like to throw out the word “populist” when referring to both men. Let me make this very clear, Trump does not act as a populist. He doesn’t pander to the poor nor does he try to pass himself off as a regular guy. He lets everyone know he’s a successful billionaire all made from the free market and all from capitalism. For Chavez, populism meant class warfare.
Hugo Chavez pandered to the poor by promising that he would get them out of poverty. The very familiar Democratic Party mantra of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Trump doesn’t rob anyone to pay anyone. He wants everyone to prosper by growing the economy and making sure people are employed. Hugo Chavez ended the central bank and took control of administering the international reserves. When did Donald Trump do this or threaten to do this? Hugo Chavez expropriated businesses and seized control of private land. When did Donald Trump do this or threaten to do this?
Hugo Chavez changed the name of Venezuela and added an extra star on the flag. When did Donald Trump do this or threaten to do this? Maybe Venezuelans think that because Donald Trump is a patriot and loves his country and is larger than life that somehow that equates to Hugo Chavez. Sorry! It doesn’t.
Ideologically, these men couldn’t be any more different. Trump is a right-wing capitalist, entrepreneur, and believer of the free market and Hugo Chavez was all about socialism and state control —and ideologically on the left. Chavez hated everyone else’s money except his own huge personal wealth which he made at the expense of my beloved Venezuela. Trump won’t even accept his government salary.
The Democrats believe in climate change legislation and demonize fossil fuels. They like to tell us what is good for us such as anti-obesity campaigns, taxing sodas and cigarettes, and Covid19 lockdowns. Use gun violence propaganda to violate the gun rights of law-abiding citizens and ultimately slowly dismantling our 2nd Amendment. Ruin our existing healthcare to instead nationalize medicine so that it’s equally miserable for all. Change education by pushing a Marxist agenda in public schools and make it harder for less fortunate school children to receive vouchers for private or better schools of their choice. The Democrats also want to squelch freedom of speech and religious liberty. They partake in horrific tactics of targeting political opponents using bogus charges or manipulating the judicial system in their favor. They pander to the poor by promising them free stuff and try to divide us by highlighting our differences in identity instead of emphasizing our similarities as people. Republicans and Donald Trump repudiate all of these things.
We Venezuelans know this closely follows the Chavez-Maduro regime socialist playbook. If we are fooled and vote for Joe Biden or any of the Democrats, we will be living the same song that Venezuela lived through and it will end with the same sad note.