In a debate with Hillary Clinton in February, Bernie Sanders explained to the moderators that he was a particular brand of socialist: “When I talk about democratic socialist, I’m not looking at Venezuela. I’m not looking at Cuba,” he clarified. “I’m looking at countries like Denmark and Sweden.”
Mayor Sanders did have a close look at Cuba in 1989 when he and his wife traveled there for eight days in hopes of meeting Fidel Castro. And as a congressman and senatorial candidate in 2006, Sanders worked out a deal with Venezuela to have millions of gallons of discounted oil delivered to Vermont’s low-income residents and homeless shelters.
Sanders the presidential candidate might be trying to put some distance between himself and Venezuela, but Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro recently praised Sanders’ “revolutionary message” to a crowd gathered for “Anti-Imperialism Day.” It’s no wonder, though, that Sanders would try to separate his campaign rhetoric from a country that’s adding electricity rationing on top of food shortages.
Your fate under socialism depends entirely on the benevolence of others. Your fate under capitalism depends mostly on your own intiative to serve yourself by serving others. “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.” — Adam Smith, from An inquiry Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of The Wealth of Nations (1776).