Marketplace commentator David Frum recently took a trip to
“The Venezuelan president has invited a team of Cuban energy experts to help
“I met middle-class professionals who had given up their cars for lack of imported spare parts.
“Those who have maintained illegal bank accounts in the
“Those who must use local currency lose one-third of their purchasing power to inflation every year and in late January saw their savings cut in half by a devaluation.
“Electricity disappears for two hours a day outside the capital. Water taps run dry.
“In January, the Hugo Chavez government seized ownership of a major shopping mall.
“A large grocery chain was caught shipping a boatload of missiles to Hezbollah.
“Chavez ordered cable stations to drop the country's most popular TV station because it did not carry a long-winded presidential speech in full.
“It takes a certain kind of genius to lay waste to the economy of one of the world's major oil producers. But in his excuses, at least, Chavez is very far from original. He fixes the blame where it always goes: on the Americans and the Jews.”