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Digital revolution not just for progressives anymore

Protests in NY against Venezuelan socialism
Protests in NY against Venezuelan socialism
Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

“The truth is no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-Rom can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works” (Newsweek 1995) Predicting the future has always been at best a guessing game. Try telling the people of Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya that networks can’t change governments. Granted they had outside help from the State Department and progressive groups like Movements.org. But the weapons they used to organize their revolt were internet based. They used programs like facebook and twitter to organize resistance and to keep protesters informed.

Those revolutions were progressive inspired, funded and directed from outside the countries of origin. They were the successful ones, Syria and Iran are proving more problematic for the hope and change crowd. Those revolutions were praised by the leftist crowd as toppling corrupt regimes, why the silence on the latest revolutions? Where is the outpouring of support for the successes in Ukraine? Where is our State Department and Movements.org in the ongoing struggle in Venezuela?

It would seem Venezuela is a perfect example of the need for freedom. This is a country with the largest oil reserves in the world (Oil Reserves) under Hugo Chavez began to import oil. To alleviate food shortages price controls were issued in 2003. When that didn’t help the military was ordered to size 750 tons of food from “hoarders”. Later he seized farms claiming “the land is not private, it is the property of the state”. Supermarkets were placed under government control to ration the now empty shelves. After nationalizing the electric industry rolling blackouts were the norm. Even toilet paper is considered a luxury in Venezuela and subject to a 15% tax. (Luxury Tax) Showers were limited by law to three minutes. When Chavez passed away in Cuba his successor Nicolas Maduro who calls himself the son of Hugo couldn’t afford to extend unemployment or increase food stamps or hand out Obamaphones. He just had the army force open the doors to Venezuela’s version of Best Buy to purchase his election. (JVG)

When the hope and change turned to more of the same misery under Maduro as Chaves the government responded by opening the Ministry of Supreme Social Happiness. (Happiness)He also reduced his appearances on TV from Chavez’s 90 minutes to an almost Obama level of 50 minutes a day. Maduro was even powerless to remove Chaves children from the presidential mansion. (Palace)The people were not amused. Without the support of the State Department or well funded groups like Movement.org they were on their own.

Why is that? Could it be that supporters of the Venezuelan government from Obama and Hillary to Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon and Robert Kennedy approve of what he is doing to the people? Could this vision of shortages of everything from food to doctors the reality of a socialist paradise? Is this the breaking of a few eggs to make a socialist omelet Ok in their world view? What of the people who cannot feed their families?

The people of Venezuela turned to the one thing socialism can’t kill, innovation. Using an App designed in America called Zello they began to organize. Zello is a walkie-talkie app that allows protesters to build networks of supporters to share information. Combined with Tunnelbear to hide their IP address to avoid the messages like in Ukraine warning them their Smartphone’s are in an area of dissent and arrest is imminent. Each step the government takes to thwart this digital threat is countered by the owners of Zello and Tunnelbear. (Defense One)

The embarrassment from the left as techniques used by the progressives is turned on one of their own is palatable. The State Department claimed to not even know CNN was tossed out of the country and called for greater freedom for the old school newspapers. Newspapers like our own New York Times who called Chavez Flamboyantly radical. The question is can the people maintain the momentum of the protests long enough for our own old school papers to notice? Or will this latest digital revolution take down a leftist hero?