Venezuelans Flee to the United States

MIAMI (Reuters) - A surge in the number of Venezuelans seeking asylum in the United States has some drawing parallels with Communist Cuba in the early 1960s.

As populist President Hugo Chavez tightens his grip on the oil-producing country, wealthy and middle class citizens are fleeing, just as their counterparts did soon after Fidel Castro seized power in Havana more than 40 years ago.

"I have no doubt that the middle class and those with some stake in the old Venezuela have legitimate concerns regarding their future livelihood and in some cases safety as the regime hardens...," said Riordan Roett, director of Latin American studies at Johns Hopkins University.

"If you have young children, you want out. If you have assets that have been seized, or may be seized, you want out as quickly as possible," Roett added. "If you have land that will be expropriated, leave sooner than later.”

For some odd reason people are fleeing the socialist dreamland of Venezuela for what so many people of a certain political persuasion have called a dictatorship, here in the United States. Strange, isn’t it?