Mayor Rahm Emanuel closed some decaying half-empty Chicago schools.

Those closures prompted a CTU visit to Venezuela in praise of its socialist leader Nicolás Maduro whose corrupt and dictatorial regime has sparked rebuke from some 50 nations around the world.

Surprised?

The Chicago Tribune comments Surprised by CTU’s Venezuela Visit? Then You Haven’t Been Paying Attention.

Four representatives of the Chicago Teachers Union, including a member of its executive board, visited Venezuela in July and returned with high praise for the socialist polices of President Nicolás Maduro.

This should not surprise anyone paying attention to the increasingly left-leaning political views of the leadership at the union, which represents some 25,000 teachers across Chicago.

Reading their social media accounts of the trip, you’d think they visited Mayberry.

In Praise of Maduro

CTU executive board member Sarah Chambers

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  • “Through major economic hardships, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro never closed a single public school or a single health clinic. This stands in stark contrast to our experience in Chicago, where Mayor Rahm Emanuel closed 50 public schools and several mental health clinics in a single year.”
  • Chambers also posted on social media her astonishment that, during her trip, she “didn’t see a single homeless person.” She and others praised literacy rates in the country and the commune-style culture.

Venezuela Poverty Facts

Please consider the Top Ten Facts About Venezuela Poverty

  • Poverty in Venezuela is an epidemic. Nearly 90 percent of Venezuelans live in poverty. According to estimates by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, this is a dramatic increase from 2014 when 48 percent of Venezuelans lived in poverty. Maria Ponce is an investigator with the local universities researching the food shortage, and she stated that “this disparity between the rise in prices and the population’s salaries is so generalized that there is practically not a single Venezuelan who is not poor.”
  • Venezuela is experiencing ‘hyperinflation.’ Venezuela is experiencing one of the worst inflation rates in history. According to Robert Renhack, deputy director of the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Department, Venezuela “is one of the most severe hyperinflation situations that we’ve known about since the beginning of the 20th century.” And the nation shows no sign of stopping. Currently, Venezuela’s inflation rate sits at 27,364 percent, dooming those without savings or foreign aid to poverty.
  • Food crisis leads to “Maduro diet.” Malnutrition is spreading. According to a recent survey, over two-thirds of Venezuelans report losing an average of 25 pounds in the last year and 61.2 percent of Venezuelans report going to bed hungry. Doctor Marianella Herrera states that “people are developing strategies to survive but not to feed themselves.” Iron-rich foods, such as maize and vegetables, have been nearly eliminated from the Venezuelan diet while government food programs fail to end the hunger.
  • Medicine is running out. Due to the poor economy, Venezuela is experiencing a severe medicine shortage and hospitals are struggling to stay open. The Pharmaceutical Federation of Venezuela estimates the country is experiencing an 85 percent shortage of medicine
  • Venezuelans are fleeing the country. In the past two years, nearly one million Venezuelans have fled the struggling nation, one of the biggest migration crises in Latin American history after the mass exodus following Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution. Many Venezuelans report they no longer feel safe in their home country and have lost hope in government officials.

I picked out what I thought were the top five points.

Parents, Please Pay Attention

Chicago parents, please pay attention to what your teachers are doing.

And in case it did not occur to you, what they are doing is brainwashing your kids.

It's one thing to be against Trump's sanctions on Venezuela (I am too), but it is beyond idiotic to travel to Venezuela singing the praises of Maduro.

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