On Friday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) appeared on ABC’s “The View” in order to promote his new book, “The Case Against Socialism.”
While two of the regular hosts were absent (Meghan McCain and Joy Behar), political strategist and commentator Ana Navarro filled in. Following an initial sparring match among the hosts and Sen. Paul over military intervention and the ongoing crisis in Turkey, the conversation turned to socialism.
NAVARRO: Let me ask you this because I live in Miami, there’s tens of thousands of Venezuelan exiles living there. You talk a lot about Venezuela in your new book. I get a lot of political ads from the Republican Party – Donald Trump has tweeted this, many have tweeted this – “If you vote for Democrats, they will turn the United States into Venezuela.” Do you think that’s a fair statement to make?
PAUL: Well, if you vote for a socialist, you might get socialism.
NAVARRO: Come on. Don’t do that. Maduro is not a socialist; he’s a corrupt, murderous thug who is starving his people.
PAUL: That’s not true.
NAVARRO: That’s not true? Maduro’s not a thug and a murderer who’s starving his people?
PAUL: Let’s have a conversation here. Chavez was a socialist, and socialism was the economic system Venezuela –
NAVARRO: And they stole. [It’s a] kleptocracy. It’s not socialism.
PAUL: But here’s the question … they voted for socialism.
At this point in the exchange, Navarro gave Paul an incredulous look, prompting him to say, “Let me finish,” to which Navarro replied: “No, I can’t let you finish. If you are going to say Maduro is not a murderous thug, I’m not letting you finish because that’s a damn lie! And I’ve got a bunch of neighbors and friends who know this.”
Paul then waved his hands in Navarro’s direction, and Navarro stated: “Don’t do this to me. Don’t mansplain. I’m a 47-year-old grown woman!”
For comment, The Daily Wire reached out to Daniel Di Martino, a Venezuelan expatriate who fled to the United States in 2016.
Di Martino, who is set to graduate in December with a degree in economics from Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis, stated:
Ana Navarro is wrong to say Maduro isn’t socialist. Nicolás Maduro and his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, nationalized thousands of companies and greatly expanded welfare programs and government employment. It was as a result of these socialist policies that our economy was destroyed and that today 9 out of every 10 Venezuelans live in poverty and more than four million Venezuelans like myself have been forced to leave our homeland. Corrupt and evil people govern many countries around the world, but these countries don’t see the terrible humanitarian crises that socialist countries like Venezuela and Cuba experience.
It is insulting that media personalities continue to try to defend the socialist system that has killed so many people throughout history just to protect the radical Democrats that promote those same policies in America.
During a previous Daily Wire interview with Di Martino, he elaborated on the idea posed by individuals like Navarro that “corruption” and thuggery are to blame for Venezuela’s problems, not socialism:
There are many other corrupt countries that are not going through starvation. In fact, most Latin American countries are very corrupt. Mexico is very corrupt. Colombia is very corrupt. Brazil, Peru, Guatemala. Those countries are not seeing the kind of economic crisis that Venezuela is seeing, where we have lost two thirds of our economy in just the last three years because of the socialist policies.
In Venezuela, they implemented policies such as price controls, such as excessive government deficits because they spent so much on welfare that they had to print money. That’s what destroyed our country. Huge minimum wage hikes that people don’t talk about at all in Venezuela. We had countless minimum wage hikes to the point that the person who cleans the school earns the same as the principal of the school, and the person who was a doctor in the hospital made the same as somebody who was a construction worker or a teacher.
Everybody started earning pretty much the same, so people just stopped working. We had a huge brain drain of skilled workers leaving our country. That’s a real consequence of drastic increases in the minimum wage.
Sen. Paul’s book, “The Case Against Socialism,” will be available to purchase on October 15.