Thursday, April 20, 2006

Failing to Succeed

Venzuela president Hugo Chavez makes moves to further isolate his country from his neighbors. I think that it is a blatant move to try to gain regional power by coercing his neighbors to abandon relationships with the US.

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez says his country is withdrawing from the South American trade bloc, the Andean Community of Nations.

He told a summit in Paraguay that Venezuela was leaving because recent trade deals between Peru, Colombia and the US had killed off the community.

He has accused fellow members of being overly aligned with the US.

He has vowed to create economic and political unity in South America without the help of Washington
I have a hard time trying to decide whether this is a good thing, or a bad thing. Certainly, it is a defeat for the citizens of Venezuala and the other nations in the trading block, no good can come from protectionist policies. I certainly hold no joy over other people's becoming poorer, despite David Friedman's admission of tribalism.

The reason that it may be good news is that the further that the South American countries descend into socialism, the sooner that they will fail. The outcome isn't certain, but I'm hoping that the failure can be seen as a failure of socialism. Or enlightened capitalism, or whatever they are calling socialism these days. I have similar hopes for France and Germany as well.

The more socialism is shown to fail the more likely that free markets and free societies will succeed. I very much want Venezuela and other nations to prosper, but I don't think that they will until they fail.

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