Venezuela Goes from a Seeming Parody of Third World Socialist Populism to

such heights of absurdity that if you came across it in an Ayn Rand novel, you would say to yourself, “Oh come on Ayn, even Socialist despots have to try to govern with a straight face” and “the public wouldn’t be dumb enough to fall for such things.” Yet, as one of my Facebook friends put it, “Looting is so much easier when its organized by the government.”

Thousands of Venezuelans lined up outside the country’s equivalent of Best Buy, a chain of electronics stores known as Daka, hoping for a bargain after the socialist government forced the company to charge customers “fair” prices. President Nicolás Maduro ordered a military “occupation” of the company’s five stores as he continues the government’s crackdown on an “economic war” it says is being waged against the country, with the help of Washington. Members of Venezuela’s National Guard, some of whom carried assault rifles, kept order at the stores as bargain hunters rushed to get inside. “I want a Sony plasma television for the house,” said Amanda Lisboa, 34, a business administrator, who had waited seven hours already outside one Caracas store. “It’s going to be so cheap.