Territory in northern South America, ruled since 1999 by the República Bolivariana de Venezuela

Reference

Venezuela - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Venezuela, officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (Spanish: República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south. Its northern coastline of roughly 2,800 kilometres includes numerous islands in the Caribbean Sea, and in the north east borders the northern Atlantic Ocean. Caribbean islands such as Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Curaçao, Bonaire, Aruba and the Leeward Antilles lie near the Venezuelan coast. Venezuela's territory covers around 916,445 square kilometres with an estimated population of 29,105,632. Venezuela is considered a state with extremely high biodiversity, with habitats ranging from the Andes mountains in the west to the Amazon Basin rainforest in the south, via extensive llanos plains and Caribbean coast in the center and the Orinoco River Delta in the east. ..."

Measures of Freedom

Human Freedom Index [PDF], The Human Freedom Index 2016
2014: 4.91, Rank: 154, Personal Freedom: 6.53, Economic Freedom: 3.29, Democracy Index: 4.87
Level of Economic Freedom, Economic Freedom of the World
2014: 3.29, Rank: 159
Venezuela | Freedom House, Freedom in the World 2016
2016: Status: Partly Free, Aggregate Score: 35, Political Rights: 5, Civil Liberties: 5
"An opposition coalition, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), won a dramatic victory in parliamentary elections on December 6, overcoming the ruling party's intimidation and continued manipulation of the electoral environment. With a turnout of over 74 percent, voters gave the opposition a tenuous supermajority in the National Assembly."

Articles

Right and Simple, by Charley Reese, 30 Dec 2006
Discusses the proposition that "the right thing to do is both simple to state and simple to understand" in the context of the drug war and the political situation in Venezuela, Colombia and the United States
"The right thing to do, for example, in regard to Venezuela is to buy Venezuelan products, primarily oil, and refrain from interfering in the country's internal affairs. It is of no concern to Americans if Venezuela opts for a socialist government. ... It's because interfering in Venezuela's internal affairs is the wrong thing to do that you get all of this hogwash from the government — that Venezuela isn't doing its part in the war on drugs, that its president is causing 'instability' in the region."
Trump’s Support and Praise of Despots Is Central to the U.S. Tradition, Not a Deviation From It, by Glenn Greenwald, 2 May 2017
Discusses recent criticism of Donald Trump that claims that his foreign policy towards known dictators and tyrants constitutes a major shift, when in fact that has been standard U.S. policy since at least the end of World War II
"When a right-wing coup in 2002 temporarily succeeded in removing Venezuela's elected left-wing President Hugo Chávez, the New York Times editorial page cast it as a victory for democracy: 'With yesterday's resignation of President Hugo Chávez, Venezuelan democracy is no longer threatened by a would-be dictator. Mr. Chávez, a ruinous demagogue, stepped down after the military intervened and handed power to a respected business leader.' ... it was quickly and predictably thereafter revealed that neocon officials in the Bush administration played a vital role."
NewVenezuela Reminds Us That Socialism Frequently Leads to Dictatorship, by Marian Tupy, 4 Apr 2017
Comments on the political events and economic situation in Venezuela, and Hayek's warnings against central planning
"On March 29, the Supreme Court of Venezuela dissolved the country's elected legislature, allowing Venezuela's top court to write future laws. The court is filled with allies of Venezuela's socialist president, Nicolas Maduro, while the legislature is dominated by Maduro's opponents, and the court's ruling was seen as the latest step on Venezuela's descent into a full-fledged dictatorship. ... between 1999, when Hugo Chavez took over as President, and 2016, average per capita income in Venezuela rose by 2 percent. In the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean, it rose by 41 percent."
Related Topics: Friedrich A. Hayek, Socialism