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By Antonella Marty

News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Tues. Oct. 18, 2022: When it was recently revealed that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-GA) net worth amounts to tens of millions of dollars, there was no surprise to follow. There was no shock.

Those of us who study the U.S. and Latin American political systems come to realize that wealth accumulation is second-nature to politicians.

As a native Argentinian, I see Eva Peron (“Evita”) for what she was at the time: A socialist hypocrite. She may have positioned herself as a champion of the poor (in her words, “the shirtless”), but Evita is a woman known for donning Dior. The same critic of capitalist wealth changed wardrobes five or six times a day. Evita reportedly owned more than 2,000 outfits, 500 pairs of shoes, 400 hats, and a trunk full of jewels. Shirts too!

Across Latin America, socialist hypocrisy knows no bounds. Communism has long been a tool of the powerful to exploit the wealth creation of others. In Cuba, Fidel Castro’s net worth came out to about $900 million, money largely “made” through the nationalization of state-owned enterprises. In Venezuela, Hugo Chavez plundered his country’s oil supply, amassing a fortune of more than $1 billion at the time of his death.

The wealthiest individual in Venezuela now is Chavez’s daughter, Maria Gabriela, who is following in his footsteps as “the voice for solidarity.” Her net worth also happens to exceed $4 billion.

In some ways, the U.S. and Latin American political systems both attract charismatic individuals seeking influence that may and probably will result in higher career earnings. They leverage talking points like “fairness,” “justice,” or the “one percent,” but only to look out for their own back accounts. We know that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) – America’s most famous champion of the poor and crusader against the “one percent” – is himself part of that one percent. A millionaire owner of three houses, Sanders has certainly enjoyed the spoils of his Senate seat and the free market right large.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is right there with him. Although her congressional salary is just over $223,000 per year, Pelosi’s net worth has ballooned to $120 million, and counting.

The infamous “AOC” famously chose a posh apartment in a glitzy part of Washington, D.C. for her residence, despite echoing many of Sanders’ anti-wealth talking points over the years. She even attended a $30,000-per-ticket Met Gala wearing a fancy “Tax the Rich” dress. It’s a page directly out of the Evita playbook: Socialism for thee, but not for me.

Of course, the political wealth accumulation on display in the Americas is not just a problem of socialists, communists, and the Left more broadly. Republicans have been known to exploit their influence too. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) was widely criticized for dumping stock in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Then-Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) sold tens of millions of dollars worth of stock before the COVID-induced market crash of 2020. As insiders, many members of the Republican Party are perfectly positioned to enrich themselves, and some do—even if it means insider trading.

While “corruption” is a label often tossed at Latin American countries, it is certainly a reality in cities like Washington, D.C. Shady deal-making runs rampant on both sides. Most members of Congress are millionaires (which isn’t good if you become one by stealing the wealth of others, rather than creating it on your own).

Corruption can happen anywhere and everywhere – from Argentina, Cuba, and Venezuela to the wealthiest cities in America. The lesson to learn is treading carefully with all politicians, regardless of ideology.

Beware those who call themselves “public servants.” Trust them at your own peril.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Antonella Marty serves as the director of public relations and influencer relations at Atlas Network.

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