One Newsweek headline proclaimed, “Trump Was Laughed At By World Leaders For Dissing Socialism.”
Trump told the general assembly, "The problem is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented [in Venezuela]."
Calling it “uncomfortable” and “perhaps the most awkward moment of Trump’s speech,” Newsweek gloated that “world leaders responded with laughter and weak applause.” They also mocked him for seeming to “expect roaring approval from the audience.”
Yet, laughter wasn’t so obvious in video of Trump’s statements attacking socialism and talking about the tragedy in Venezuela — where ordinary people continue to pay the price for socialism through starvation and restricted freedoms.
There was an obvious period of silence afterwards and then light applause.
After recounting the incident, Newsweek said many Americans still consider “socialism a dirty word,” but minimized the history of countries like the Soviet Union. The “bleak conditions in some countries associated with socialism” have “ingrained” those negative attitudes, according to Newsweek.
The magazine made sure to mention the “growing support” for socialism among millennials, many of whom supported Sen. Bernie Sanders, a democratic socialist. It also lauded the socialism of “most industrialized countries” with universal health care programs.
Nevertheless, the reaction of the U.N. assembly and Trump’s opposition in the press does not mean he was wrong about socialism or Venezuela.
Cato Senior Fellow and Forbes Contributor Doug Bandow also blamed socialism for “destroying” the South American country.
“Venezuela has been sliding into a crisis for decades. It long was ruled by a bipartisan political elite most interested in its own enrichment. The economy never was particularly free,” Bandow wrote for Forbes on Aug. 14. Eventually, Hugo Chavez was elected by “angry” citizens and his government “completed the destruction of both the economy and democracy.”
Now, hyper-inflation and lack of goods has left Venezuelans starving as Chavez’ successor Nicolas Maduro made a bad situation even worse.