Socialism in Venezuela has destroyed so much of the country’s economic wellbeing that even criminals are having a hard time making ends meet. Bullets and weapons have become too expensive for even the most violent out there, plus, there’s just nothing left to steal.
Bullets are expensive at $1 each for the distressed Venezuelan criminal. And with less cash circulating on the street, gang members say robberies just don’t pay like they used to. Imagine that.
According to the Associated Press, criminals are even having a hard time in the nation ripped apart by socialism. Not even breaking the law is helping anymore because most people have nothing left to steal. “If you empty your clip, you’re shooting off $15,” said El Negrito a “feared street gangster” who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition that he is identified only by his street name and photographed wearing a hoodie and face mask to avoid attracting unwelcome attention. “You lose your pistol or the police take it and you’re throwing away $800.”
After the initial exponential rise in violent crime in the immediate aftermath of socialism’s failure, the crime rate is falling rapidly. Nothing pays anymore in Venezuela, including crime. “These days, nobody is doing well — not honest citizens who produce wealth or the criminals who prey on them,” said El Negrito.
Officials of President Nicolás Maduro’s socialist administration have drawn criticism for not releasing robust crime statistics, but the government on Tuesday gave the AP figures showing a 39 percent drop in homicides over the same three-year period, with 10,598 killings in 2018. The Associated Press
20 years of the socialist revolution launched by the late President Hugo Chávez, who expropriated once-thriving businesses that today produce a fraction of their potential under government management, have caused massive erosion in the way of life in Venezuela.
While assaults are down, other crimes have risen. Reports of theft and pilfering of everything from copper telephone wires to livestock are surging as people seek a way to provide food for themselves. Meanwhile, drug trafficking and illegal gold mining have become default activities for organized crime, or others just looking to survive. Even with the drop in assaults and murder, Venezuela remains a very violent country.
“Venezuela remains one of the most violent countries in the world,” said Dorothy Kronick, who teaches political science at the University of Pennsylvania and has carried out extensive research in Caracas’ slums. “It has wartime levels of violence — but no war.”