08.06.2020 0

Socialism is theft and Marxist regimes like Venezuela and China need to be held accountable

By Rick Manning

Socialism is theft.  At their very core, these Marxists believe that they have a right to take the property of others and make it their own without even bothering to compensate the rightful owner in any way.  Thieves, looters, mobsters and some government officials, like Venezuelan dictators Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro, make it a habit of demanding protection money under the threat of taking a person or company’s property at the point of a gun.

In the case of the Las Cristinas gold mine, refusing to pay bribes to local officials resulted in then dictator Hugo Chavez confiscating the mine in 2011.  This, after Crystallex, the mine owner had invested more than $500 million into the local economy building infrastructure and other projects.  What did Crystallex and its shareholders get for this half a billion dollar community improvement expenditure?

They got their property stolen at the point of a gun, a Venezuelan government gun.

Crystallex took its case to court with cases going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court which refused to take up an appeal by Venezuela’s leader Juan Guaido, the man who the U.S. government recognizes as the legitimate leader of Venezuela over the dictator Maduro.  The Supreme Court failed to even choose to hear the Venezuelan appeal disputing a lower court’s finding that the mining company be made whole through liquidation of U.S. based assets of the Venezuelan government owned oil company — Citgo.

Very few presidents in recent history have been as strong of defenders of property rights as President Donald Trump, and holding Marxist regimes like Venezuela accountable for their unlawful seizure of property, like the Las Cristinas mine, is necessary to stop future illegal takings.

For those who don’t remember, President Trump has forced China to at least accept on paper the concept of Intellectual property in the Phase One trade deal. Whether they will is another matter, as China had already agreed to and then subsequently failed to protect intellectual and other property rights when they entered the World Trade Organization in 2001.

About a decade later, New Jersey Representative Chris Smith, the Chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China began a hearing ten years after China entering the WTO questioning whether China has kept its promises when entering that body with a scathing statement taking the rogue Maoist-Marxist nation to task for abuses of human rights and property rights where he said, “China’s record of protection of intellectual property rights, a fundamental WTO obligation, is abysmal. Infringement of our companies’ intellectual property [IP] leads to lost sales to China from the United States and other countries, lost royalty payments, and damaged reputations, and presents a risk to consumers here and in China of unwittingly buying counterfeit pharmaceuticals or unsafe, fake products.”

The truth is that private property rights, intellectual or otherwise, are counter to the DNA of a socialist-communist regime which believes that everything belongs to the state. So China’s continuing abuses of property rights over the past two decades are not surprising.

And until President Trump was elected, no U.S. president was willing to hold Marxist governments like China and Venezuela accountable.

This is why it is so critical for the President to direct the Treasury and State Departments to enforce the federal court rulings to convert Venezuelan government owned Citgo assets as compensation for those who poured half a billion dollars into building out the area around the Las Crystinas mine, along with other costs associated with the mine operations, only to have it stolen.

If State and Treasury refuse to carry out the federal court decisions to make the owners of Las Crystinas mine whole, it sends a clear message to China, Venezuela and every other communist regime in the world, that the U.S. is not really serious about protecting private property rights and they can continue business as usual.

Everyone who has been paying attention knows about President Trump’s battles with the swamp.  He has been completely unafraid to assert his control over the administrative state as the elected leader of our great country and they have chafed at the new hand at the wheel.  Now, he needs to show Venezuela, China and indeed the world, that the United States will hold countries which nationalize private property accountable.  Through a simple action involving Venezuela, the President can send a powerful message to China that this time, they’d better keep their property rights promise, or else there will be consequences.

The truth, which our President understands better than anyone, is that private property rights are the building blocks of prosperity, and without them, eventually capital does not flow to grow an economy.  In a very short while, Venezuela has slipped from one of South America’s largest and most vigorous economic success stories to a place where its formerly prosperous citizens are reduced to eating their pets to avoid starvation.

Time has run out for Maduro and his out of control government.  The time has come for America to lay down a marker that there is a new Sheriff in town, by following the rule of law and enforcing the federal court rulings allowing Venezuelan government owned Citgo assets to be sold to meet the debt their Marxist government created through their thefts of foreign owned property.  It is time to hold Venezuela accountable, by making those who they had their property stolen whole and enforcing the U.S. court order

If the U.S. State and Treasury Department’s fail, they will set the principle of property rights, and indeed, freedom back a generation as other Marxist regimes will declare that private property is fair game.

Socialism and Marxism are robbery and its time for the robbers to pay the piper.

Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government.

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