Venezuela is a failed state. It is a prime example of what happens whenever socialism is applied. In a short time span, Venezeuela went from a moderately failed Third World sh**hole with a potential upside to a seething, effervescing cauldron of starvation, shortages, and hyperinflation. It is basically what California would look like if Calexit was successful.
In late March, President Nicolas Maduro tried to conduct a coup by having his tame, in-the-pocket Supreme Court declare the Parliament unconstitutional. This is not a uniquely Venezuelan activity. Barack Obama tried as much when he was president. Riots broke out. And the political rioters have been joined by legions of people who can no longer count on finding food (the starvation may have been a clever way of solving the toilet paper shortage or of making “we don’t give a sh**” official government policy.)
Anyway you cut it, Venezuela is rapidly entering the civil-war-with-heads-on-pikes stage of socialism. (As a serious aside, I really blame George Bush for this. There was a coup attempt against Hugo Chavez in 2002 and the Bush administration refused to give it support. The coup might not have succeeded but supporting a failed coup could not have made things worse than they turned out.) But if you are Rachel Maddow, you know Donald Trump is capable of anything. Like time travel:
MADDOW: The sanctions that the U.S. put on Venezuela were put there in 2014 after 43 people got killed while participating in anti-government protests. Another three people got killed in anti-government protests just yesterday. There have been weeks and weeks and weeks of rioting and violent protests.
MADDOW: And now today Venezuelans are enraged anew by this brand new FEC filing from the White House which shows that interesting thing about the guy who got the meeting with the NSC officials and with Steve Bannon.
MADDOW: It also shows while Venezuelans have been rioting in the streets, while there have been been acute food and medicine shortages in Venezuela — This is a country that should be a rich country, but people have been literally starving in Venezuela —
MADDOW: — somehow in the midst of this incredible economic political crisis in Venezuela, Venezuela’s state-run oil company somewhere found a half-million dollars to donate to the very, very, very inexplicably overfunded Trump inauguration. Venezuela’s state-run oil company gave them a half-million bucks too. So Venezuela’s state-run oil company is dumping money into the Trump inauguration, a half-million bucks.
Meanwhile another half-million plus was apparently enough to open up not only the White House but the National Security Council, the freaking National Security Council, to a very well-connected donor and international investor who had a plan he wanted to share on Venezuela.
What Maddow is mewling about is a contribution from a US based corporation, Citgo, to Donald Trump’s inaugural. She goes out of her way, like some other people have, to make it sound like it was a contribution from Venezuela. That would merely be dishonest, which is part and parcel for Maddow. Where she really goes off the rails is acting like this was even a story in Venezuela where media guards against #FakeNews in the way Maddow prefers: it is state owned. It wasn’t and the recent riots are clearly a continuation of the past month or so.
There is an ancient joke in the British army about a particular cavalry officer who was so stupid that even the horses had begun to take notice. Maddow may finally have met that standard in the eyes of her bovine audience.