Posted July 29, 2016 by John Sexton
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has a plan to “guarantee food supply, social justice, and democracy.” As with most of Maduro’s plans, it will accomplish none of those things. Vice News reports:
“A new decree establishing that any employee in Venezuela can be effectively made to work in the country’s fields as a way to fight the current food crisis is unlawful and effectively amounts to forced labor,” Amnesty International said in a statement released on Thursday.
President Nicolás Maduro signed a decree at the end of last week that gives powers to the labor ministry to order “all workers from the public and private sector with enough physical capabilities and technical know-how” to join a government drive aimed at increasing food production.
They can be required to work in the agricultural sector for a 60-day period that can be extended for another 60 days “if the circumstances require it.”
Naturally, Maduro continues to blame the dire circumstances of his country on an economic war brought against him by the Unites States. He’s been saying that for months and even suggesting on occasion that the U.S. was ready to invade.
The reality here is much simpler: socialism has been a disaster for Venezuela. The latest attempt at central economic planning is reminiscent of the Soviet Unions five year plans in the 1920s and 1930s. The difference here is that Venezuela is working on 60-day plans because, with inflation already in the triple-digits, it’s hard to imagine how the country could continue for another five years unless something changes.
One survey found that about half of Venezuelans can no longer afford to eat 3 meals a day. Dumpster diving for food, food riots and cross-border grocery shopping have become facts of life in the country. Today the BBC published a story explaining just how dire the hunger situation in Venezuela has become:
Travelling through the country this month I saw endless queues of people trying to buy food – any food – at supermarkets and other government-run shops.
I was stopped at a roadblock in the middle of the countryside by people who said they had eaten nothing but mangoes for three days.
I saw the hopeless expression of a mother, who had been eating so little that she was no longer able to breastfeed her baby…
“We’ve always been poor here, that’s true, but we’ve never been hungry,” said Zulay Florido, a community leader in her 50s.
“Since (President) Maduro took power we are in a very bad situation. We call it here ‘the Maduro diet’.
Venezuela’s socialist are holding an entire nation hostage, effectively threatening to let them starve rather than relinquish power.