The people of Venezuela are starving.
This is not a joke and it is not a cutesy lead-in to a blog. It is a fact.
In once-prosperous (read that pre-hugo chaves/nicolas maduro) Venezuela there was significant poverty, but there was a middle and upper class. Today, other than a tiny percentage of the very richest, everyone is in the same boat.
Emma Graham-Harrison, writing in London’s Guardian, paints a stark picture of how bad things are. I urge you to use this link and read every word. You will be appalled.
But let me show you just one segment, describing the plight of a once-comfortably middle class Venezuelan:
“I had seen people suffering, I saw people queueing for bread, but it had not reached me, I didn’t expect it would,” he said. “Never in my life had I spent a night worrying about what I would eat tomorrow.”
This year he has done little else. He stands 5ft 7in tall, and has lost more than a quarter of his body mass, shrinking to little over 50kg (7st 12lb) since the start of the year. During a checkup for a new job, doctors diagnosed a heart murmur caused by stress and hunger. He gets up at 5am to queue for food, but sometimes it isn’t there.
“Its like an obstacle course. You have to find money to buy food, a place to buy it and then get there in time,” he said, with a wry grin that has survived better than his health, before adding: “One of the good things about Venezuelans is they laugh about it all – food, and security and health.”
This summer he swallowed his pride and signed up for a monthly box of subsidised food sold by the government for about $1. “I didn’t want to be part of that scheme. But I had to change my decision, to literally not die of hunger.”
Elsewhere in the article Ms. Graham-Harrison tells us that “Nearly three-quarters of Venezuelans have lost weight over the past year, and the average loss was a huge 9kg, or nearly a stone and a half…For many that is simply because food is too expensive.”
It has also forced girls, as young as 12, to become prostitutes – because their alternative is that they, and their families, have no money for food.
It is very hard to fathom how parents would feel, watching their pre-teen child leave the house to have sex with as many men as possible so they could eat. But that is today’s reality in the increasingly socialist cesspool Venezuela has become under chavez, and now maduro.
Now: when do you figure the Useless Neutered UN will say something about this? About the same time it says something about radical islamic terrorism?
Too bad it won’t be about the same time the UN condemns Israel for something or other. Because then we’d know action was being taken right away.