There’s been a game of chess going on now for quite a few years, ‘multi-dimensional chess’ to be a bit more descriptive and accurate. With the United States on one side, and Russia, Iran, and communist China on the other side. And the chessboard right now is in the South American nation of Venezuela, though it moves around regularly to any other location in the world that the players deem important to their strategic interests.

Venezuela, once something of a garden spot of South America with vast oil wealth – possibly the world’s largest known oil reserves – as well as natural beauty like Angel Falls, the world’s longest water fall with an uninterrupted drop of over three thousand two hundred feet, as well as a very rich bio-diversity.

With dense rainforest, large swaths of arable land, and gold and other valuable mineral deposits, Venezuela has the potential to once again become a driving economic force not just in the region of South and Central America, but across the entire world.

That being said, the Venezuelan people right now are starving, reduced to eating garbage out of trash cans, when they can find it. They have no medicines for the sick and infirm.

The Venezuelan people are suffering greatly. Ironic how a country with such vast wealth potential can be such an economic basket case. That’s what happens when Socialism takes control.

Unfortunately for the people of Venezuela they fell victim to the promises made by those who sell the idea of socialism as a governing concept. That and the notoriously corrupt elections that occur regularly in Third World countries (not much different really than what has become the elective process in the United States in recent years).

Those politicians who peddled Socialism to the Venezuelans tried to pass it off as the salve that would make society better for all. They told them that everyone would be better off under a socialist system, when the reality is that most have suffered greatly. Only the ruling elite and their favored few have been able to live well.

Does everyone remember the ruling elite in Soviet Russia with their private country Dachas? Vacation homes for the party members to retire to on weekends while the citizenry lived with entire families packed into small apartments, and spent their weekends standing in bread lines in the cities. I can guarantee you the ruling elite never stood in bread lines. In fact, many had unlimited access to Western goods and products that the average citizen could only dream of. Typical of what happens under Socialism.

Venezuela is just another case in point of how foreign nations interfere in the governments – including the elective process of their adversaries – just as what occurred during our 2016 election. Russian interference and covert influence operations weren’t much different than the types of things we have done countless times over the years since World War II during our decades long Cold War with Soviet Russia. The only difference is that we did these things for a noble purpose, the pursuit of freedom.

While things are still playing out in Venezuela one thing is certain. The Venezuela people alone will decide what path their country takes, if they have the will to do so.

Do they continue under the failed policies of Chavez and Maduro that have brought them to the brink of national starvation? Or do they choose to change the direction of their country and cast aside the corruption and disastrous system that has caused so much human pain and suffering everywhere it has been tried in the world?

The same type of system that is currently being peddled to Americans by Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, among others in what has become known as the far left Democrat Socialist Party. Image from wsj video footage