Despite the admittedly sarcastic nature of the title of this article, today’s story highlights an ongoing, dire, and rapidly worsening situation for the people of Venezuela. As the socialist government of dictator Nicolas Maduro continues to drive the nation toward complete collapse, a new study compiled by three universities shows that that vast majority of Venezuelans are literally starving at this point. The problem has become so serious that the average citizen there has lost nearly 25 pounds of body weight over just the past year. (Reuters)
Venezuelans reported losing on average 11 kilograms (24 lbs) in body weight last year and almost 90 percent now live in poverty, according to a new university study on the impact of a devastating economic crisis and food shortages.
The annual survey, published on Wednesday by three universities, is one of the most closely-followed assessments of Venezuelans’ well being amid a government information vacuum and shows a steady rise in poverty and hunger in recent years.
Over 60 percent of Venezuelans surveyed said that during the previous three months they had woken up hungry because they did not have enough money to buy food. About a quarter of the population was eating two or less meals a day, the study showed.
Surviving on one meal a day (and generally not a nutritious one) is going to kill the average person after a while. When you combine that with the fact that medical supplies are either in short supply or totally unavailable in some areas it’s a recipe for disaster. And why can’t the people get hold of any food? There are a variety of factors contributing to this, all of them stemming directly from the incompetence and corruption of the Maduro regime.
Prices for any products not directly controlled by the government are skyrocketing at the same time as the value of any money the Venezuelans may have sinks to nothing. Average prices rose 4,068 percent in 2017 while incomes remained stagnant. Even if there were any food on the shelves of the stores, nearly 90% of the population couldn’t afford to purchase it.
But there isn’t any food in most of the stores. This isn’t because of some drought or crop failure, nor is it because of some shadowy outside plot against the country as Maduro continually claims. Venezuela sits on some of the richest farmland in the hemisphere and used to produce so much food they were a major net exporter of beef, poultry, fruit and vegetables. But government mandates kept forcing the prices farmers could charge for their products down to the point where most of them went out of business or were reduced to working tiny parcels of land to feed their own families. Much of the fertile farmland now lies fallow.
All the while, Maduro and his ruling party cronies don’t seem to be losing any weight. They’re living quite well while the people slowly starve to death. Amidst all of this, do you think any leader in a free nation could possibly win an election? Well, their tyrant’s ruling socialist party is expected to win the upcoming elections in a landslide. And why wouldn’t he? Maduro controls all the levers of power, including the electoral commission and the high court. He has banned all of his serious opposition from running and the opposition party is going to boycott the election in protest.
Venezuela has fallen completely under the shadow of tyranny. At this point, the nation only serves as a reminder to the rest of the world how socialism always ends. Violence, corruption, oppression and starvation are all that remains of a nation which was a regional powerhouse for a short time in the 70s. And short of a military intervention (which isn’t going to happen), there is nothing for the rest of us to do but watch.