February 16, 2018

BRET STEPHENS: On Venezuela, Where Are Liberals?

Scour the Web and you’ll find a handful of reports of anti-Maduro protests or teach-ins at universities in recent years, usually organized by Venezuelans living in the U.S. And most politically informed people are more-or-less aware of Venezuela’s political and economic disorders. No doubt they don’t like what they see, and no doubt they wish it were otherwise.

They just don’t seem to care that much.

Every generation of campus activists embraces a worthy foreign-policy cause: Ending apartheid in South Africa; stopping ethnic cleansing in the Balkans; rescuing Darfur from starvation and genocide. And then there’s the perennial — and perennially unworthy — cause of “freeing” Palestine, for which there never is a shortage of credulous campus zealots.

Then there are the humanitarian causes young activists generally don’t embrace, at least not in a big way. Cuba’s political prisoners. Islamist violence against Christians in the Middle East. The vast and terrifying concentration camp that is North Korea. Where are the campus protests over any of that?

Simple: Venezuela is socialist, and the Left remains enamored with socialism.

It’s like that because they each picture themselves becoming one of the big shots with the nice dacha, but none of them imagines they’ll end up a corpse in a mass grave.

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