One has to listen to learn

By Mark Schenck Guest columnist

I had a very interesting conversations recently with, of all people, the customer service technician from our satellite TV company.

If you have ever had a problem requiring online assistance with your computer or TV you have more than likely dealt with one of these technicians on the phone. Most of these technicians live in Mexico, India or one of the Baltic countries, most are difficult to understand, and most have very little or no sense of American-style humor.

The young man I spoke to was easy to understand and had a friendly way of communicating.

During several of the five-minute trouble shooting test over the phone, we had time to talk.

I’ve found most people love to tell you about themselves so my first question was to find out what was the name he was using. Edward he replied.

My second question was to find out where he was calling from. Edward said he was living in Mexico City with his mother; I questioned his location because Edward did not sound Mexican. Mexicans like Americans have accents like the difference between New York and Alabama.

Edward went on to explain that they were originally from Venezuela, but had to leave because of the intolerable living conditions brought on by the socialist running the government. Edward further stated that the socialist dictator/former bus driver, Nicolas Maduro, told the people the grocery stores were for the people and they were all free. Soon the stores were empty, everything edible was taken and the shelves were bare. The worst part was there was nothing to restock them with because the warehouses had all been looted.

I’ve read quite a few alarming stories of the inability to obtain the basic needs to live even to the point of starvation and how even animals in the zoo were dying because there was nothing to feed them.

Five years ago, shortly after he took power in Venezuela, Maduro, outlawed all private ownership of guns, as well as transfers of guns. All privately-owned guns were to be immediately “turned-in.”This is standard practice for all “tinhorn dictators.”

Interior Minister Nestor Reverol proclaimed “We are going to bring peace through disarmament,” and proceeded to conduct Stalinist-style gun-confiscation raids, to the cheers of anti-gun politicians around the world, including some here in the USA.

Now, just five years later, Maduro has begun labeling all of his political opponents as“imperialist aggressors,” and has reversed his ban on guns by issuing military-style handguns to untrained civilians, but only to those that support his policies. Only God’s love and our Constitution keeps us from suffering this same fate.

This newly-formed army of modern-day Venezuelan “Black shirts” or Militiamen is being used to threaten, intimidate, imprison, and even murder all who fail to support Maduro’s socialist/communist takeover.

I told Edward how I had admired the natural beauty of Venezuela’s yet I did not understand how his country with the largest oil reserves known and one of the largest gold reserves could be literally starving to death?

Edward attributed the main cause of Venezuela’s financial despair to nationalization. During the reign of the Dictator Chavez, 1,200 companies were nationalized, in many cases their management was replaced with unqualified socialist bureaucrats.

During one protest about the inequity in wages, Chavez fired 18,000 petroleum workers, leaving Venezuela’s Oil industry completely paralyzed. To say there is inequity in wages in Venezuela is comparably speaking to say the “A” bomb is a fire cracker, for example: the daughter of the former Dictator Chavez is estimated to be worth $4 billion.

You might say Venezuela is just another socialist/communist workers paradise. Then there are the gold fields owned and operated by the Venezuelan government. Production is so inefficient that Chinese mining companies are now being brought in to operate the mines.

When Edward had completed his task I congratulated him for getting out of Venezuela’s political mess. Edward replied that he and his mother had mixed emotions after moving to Mexico City. You see two weeks after they arrived last August; Mexico City experienced one of the worst earthquakes ever recorded in that area. The main quake and aftershocks caused major damage to the Greater Mexico City area, more than 40 buildings collapsed 370 people were killed and in nearby areas 228 buildings collapsed, and more than 6,000 were injured.

Edward admitted he and his mother were very frightened during the earthquake.

But he concluded that being frightened for a short time in Mexico was still better than spending your entire life surrounded by fear in Venezuela.

By Mark Schenck Guest columnist Mark Schenck Guest columnist

Mark Schenck is chairman of the Scotland County Republican Party.

Mark Schenck is chairman of the Scotland County Republican Party.