Ain’t Socialism grand: ‘We loot or we die of hunger’

Socialism, a completely and utterly failed political system for wealth redistribution…and one constantly pushed by bewildered people who fail to see the failures of the system all about them.

Like Venezuela:

Amid desperate food shortages Venezuelans are picking up new survival skills.

On the night of 9 January, for example, a hungry mob took just 30 minutes to pick clean a grocery store in the eastern city of Puerto Ordaz. By the time owner Luis Felipe Anatael arrived at the bodega he’d opened five months earlier, the looters had hauled away everything from cold cuts to ketchup to the cash registers.

“It makes you want to cry,” said Anatael in a telephone interview. “I think we are headed for chaos.”

They’ve already got chaos, what they are headed for is a revolution.

Evidence for his prediction can be found in towns and cities across Venezuela that have been hit by an outbreak of looting and mob violence. Angry about empty supermarket shelves and soaring prices, some people are breaking into warehouses, ransacking food trucks and invading outlying farms.

During the first 11 days of January the Venezuelan Observatory for Social Conflict, a Caracas rights group, recorded 107 episodes of looting and several deaths in 19 of Venezuela’s 23 states.

But the figures don’t fully capture the level of desperation. Recent headlines from Venezuela read like notes from the apocalypse:

  • On Margarita Island dozens of people waded into the ocean and forced their way aboard a fishing boat, making off with its catch of sardines
  • In the city of Maracay, just west of Caracas, thieves broke into a veterinary school, stole two pregnant thoroughbred horses and slaughtered them for meat.
  • A recent video from the western state of Mérida shows a group of people cornering a cow before stoning it to death as bystanders yell: “The people are hungry!”

There have been previous incidents of looting but analysts fear that the current wave could linger amid the Venezuela’s economic freefall.

President Nicolás Maduro blames the country’s woes on an “economic war” against his government by rightwingers and foreign interests.

Evil Gringos no doubt.

But his critics say his government has disrupted domestic food production by expropriating farms and factories. Meanwhile, price controls designed to make food more widely available to poorer people have had the opposite effect: many prices have been set below the cost of production, forcing food producers out of business.

Meanwhile the government has less cash to import food because of its mismanagement of the oil sector, where production has fallen to a 29-year low. Hyperinflation and the collapse of the currency have put the prices of foodstuffs available on the black market beyond the reach of many families.

But rather than reforming the economy, the government has resorted to handouts and far-fetched schemes.

A newly formed ministry of urban farming encourages people to grow tomatoes and raise chickens on their patios and rooftops. Another campaign encourages Venezuelans to breed rabbits for the table. At a recent news conference, Freddy Bernal, the urban farm minister, declared: “We need people to understand that a rabbit is not a pet. It’s two and a half kilos of meat.”

But as they grow thinner some Venezuelans insist they have a right to take matters into their own hands. That was the case in the western city of Maracaibo, where residents recently swarmed into the streets, stopped two trucks filled with flour and candy, and emptied them.

We either loot or we die of hunger,” one of the looters, Maryoli Corniele, told Diario la Verdad, the local newspaper.

Loot or die…those are the stark choices for those living in the socialist paradise of Venezuela.

I can’t wait for Jacinda Ardern to suggest a new Ministry of Urban Farming…where people living in state houses will have their back yards plowed under and they are now forced to labour in the government’s fields.

 

-The Guardian


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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