After Hurricane Ian left Cuba in the dark, protestors took to the streets. Now the government is set to charge them with sedition and treason and could sentence some to lengthy prison terms.
As President Nicolas Maduro holds the country in a chokehold of socialist tyranny, his government keeps growing.
President Maduro has taken control of state-owned food distribution, nationalized all the energy and gas, nationalized the banking sector, ordered the re-education of dissidents and made arrests of opposition leaders.
He also cracked down on peaceful protestors, arresting more than 200 at anti-government demonstrations.
To put things in perspective, this isn’t the first time that socialist dictatorships have come to power in Latin America.
Here are some of their previous accomplishments:
“These are crimes that I don’t forget, these are not just crimes against people who have the right to protest,” said Guillermo Zapata of the National Union of Petroleum and Petrochemical Workers, who has been jailed twice.
In April 2013, President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela sent the military to crush a peaceful protest of thousands of students that had begun outside a state-run radio station. The students were protesting what they described as economic censorship. According to the U.S. State Department, Venezuela’s socialism has been described as one of the worst forms of government in the world.
“At the time I was living with someone who was then arrested and he was charged with conspiracy and sentenced to five years. That was our way to get along,” said Jaime Roque, a student protester whose father was also jailed.
Chavez’s government also jailed the opposition-leader Luis Almagro for six months for “attempting to overthrow the government,” and charged that his supporters were communist.
Chavez had declared the country socialist in 1992, and he remains the country’s only socialist president, but his record is unimpressive. The Venezuelan economy experienced one of the worst performing periods in its history in 2008-2009.
The average Venezuelan worker makes $1 per day, and more than half of that income was lost because of increased inflation.
Despite falling oil prices, the oil-rich nation’s GDP last year was a mere $40 billion, according to government statistics. That compares with a $1.2 billion increase of $21,000 in 2010. Venezuela is also $4 billion