The latest reports from oil-rich Venezuela have their official rate of inflation approaching 10,000%.

People are struggling to survive, capital controls are in place, people who can flee the country are doing so – serious violent crime is escalating in volume and severity.

The leader and his lackeys have rewritten the Constitution and he now wields dictatorial powers.

Starving people are eating zoo animals, if some of the more extreme reports are to be believed.

However, the Left claims that this isn’t REAL socialism.

Well, it appears to be failing in EXACTLY the same way as all previous iterations of socialism, no?

And haven’t Maduro (and Chavez before him) referred to themselves as socialists?

And while things seemed to be going well, there was a distinct shortage of Leftists arguing with them. Indeed they were queuing up to point out how well socialism was working there.

And that’s the key, surely – the Left agreed that Venezuela was a socialist success story in the early Chavista phase (before they ran out of other people’s money), started to claim the economy was being interfered with by third parties once it started to fall apart, and are now insisting it wasn’t real socialism anyway.

So it looked like socialism at the beginning, quacked like socialism in the middle, and is walking like socialism now at the end.

What did the Right say about Venezuela? It was a disaster waiting to happen.

How would this disaster unfold?

Price controls, inflation, starvation, government tyranny and finally either violent revolution or deathcamps.

Because it was socialism, and that’s how it ALWAYS fails.

What did the Left say? It was a joyful rejection of neoliberalism.

What actually happened? People are eating their pets.

If it wasn’t real socialism, why is it failing in the exact ways that socialism always does, and how were the Right able to predict it?

How will we know if the Sahara ever becomes socialist?

First, Owen Jones will joyfully laud it as a rejection of neoliberalism.

And then the sand shortages will begin.