As the race for the 2020 presidential election heats up, the debate over the merits of socialism is getting more and more attention. Some candidates are openly running on a socialist platform advocating for higher taxes and public ownership of utilities.
These positions are receiving ample support from younger generations. According to a recent poll, 36% of millennials support communism and Marxism, and 22% support the abolition of all private property.
Due to this increasing fascination with the ideology, two college students who fled the failing socialist Venezuelan state are now travelling across the United States to speak on college campuses and warn students about the danger of socialism.
Jorge Galicia and Andres Guilarte witnessed the destruction that socialism brought to their country. Both are now political activists and are warning students around the United States that socialism may not be all that it’s chalked up to be.
In an interview with The College Fix, Guilarte warned, “We are eyewitnesses of the falling of the country. We are telling them we used to have rights like you have here. You can go to the supermarket, buy everything, you can have money for the month. We used to be just like everybody else. But now [in Venezuela] we’ve ended up at the bottom of every single economic index you can find. You don’t have to take for granted your liberties — and you don’t have to wait until you lose them to fight for them.”
In a similar way, Galicia said, “Who in the world wouldn’t want to have free health care, free college tuition, free whatever — the thing is those kinds of offers are not sustainable in the long-term. I know it is tempting, but do not fall into that trap. You need to learn from other people’s experience. Keep your liberty protected, because what you have, it’s a beautiful country.”
Their speaking project is funded by The Fund for American Studies with the title “Venezuela: My Story… Your Future?”
The United Socialist Party of Venezuela (USPV) has maintained power in Venezuela since 1999 when Hugo Chavez was elected president. Upon the death of Chavez in 2013, Nicolas Maduro succeeded him, and the country has since collapsed. According to reports, 4.5 million people have fled the country, and food and basic supplies are extremely scarce.
The rate of hyperinflation in the Venezuelan currency has soared by 10 million percent and the economy was forecast to shrink by 35% in 2019 alone. The economy has shrunk by 65% since the beginning of the crisis in 2013, leading to one of the worst five-year contractions in the past half century, according to CNBC.
“It is important to teach young audiences; they are the most vulnerable audience when it comes to being engaged with socialist ideas,” Galicia said.
Millennials are now the largest voting block in the United States, and it’s important to educate each new generation about the destruction that socialism can bring.
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Photo from The College Fix