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The current political regime in Venezuela, the Chavismo, is in its last stage. But while it is agonizing, it is jeopardizing the health and even the lives of many of its citizens. At the end of 2013, the Venezuelans began to experience the scarcity and the shortage of the basic products, with the consequent queuing at the supermarket’ entrances to get food. The issue has already exploded today. According to one of the main Hugo Chavez advisers in economic affairs and Chavismo’ ideologue, Heinz Dieterich Steffan, “The economic crisis has become a terminal political crisis for Maduro. In less than two years, a troika of inept and overbearing people has squandered the popular struggle’ heritage, discrediting Socialism of the 21st century’ alternative.” Dieterich was the creator this concept, ‘Socialism of the 21st century’, concept which Hugo Chávez used for his political ground.
The recent French agency AFP report is reflecting the desperation of an increasing number of Venezuelans to bring something to their mouths, having to dig in the garbage to eat. Thousands of people, assessed in 10% of the population, have found in the trash their pantry to fight hunger and misery. 81.8% of Venezuelan households live in poverty and 51.5% do so in extreme poverty, according to the findings of the National Academy of Economic Sciences, based on the surveys of several prestigious universities. Venezuela has become one he most miserable economies on the planet, according to the Bloomberg ranking. And the one of greater inflation and recession, so pronounced that of 93% of the Venezuelans can’t buy the food they need with their salaries.
The ‘Bolivarian’ bureaucrats are pointing a different view about the country: “There is more money available, it is a democratization of the consumption. That is the reason of the shortages, now people have more means to consume.” The Chavismo uses this argument, surprising and shocking many Venezuelans: the official deputy Mario Arias affirmed that the serious general shortage which the country is suffering is because “there is a greater demand, it is evident. If a person is queuing to buy is because has money in his pocket. As a result, there is more demand because there are more resources available. While there are queues in the supermarkets and in the stores, it is because people have more money and, consequently, there is an increase in demand.” Simply incredible.
Denying the situation, the Bolivarian regime of Nicolas Maduro, far from changing the situation, is aggravating it. It maintains strict price controls, the nationalization of companies and productive sectors, as well as the intervention and rationing of food, whose application is further aggravating the scarcity issues, creating hyperinflation and falling in the production. The Venezuelan administration is using this chaos to implement new measures of social control, such as the new ‘Patriotic Card’, a food supply card with which aspires to identify the population who supports the regime, as some opposition leaders have claimed. The control over the citizens, forced to buy according to their identification number, is a modern version of the famous Cuban supply card. According to Dieterich, economic affairs’ Chávez ideologue and a person well known for his leftist positions, “By forcing Venezuelan citizens to present these identity documents, undergo in biometric checks, violating their civil rights, the regime is humiliating the citizens, and exhibiting the state’ police face.”
These images of children, youth or parents digging in trash bags thrown in the streets of Caracas, looking for something to eat is what illustrates the best the economic legacy after almost two decades of the Chavista regime. The continued violation of human and civil rights in Venezuela, which I have denounced so many times, has been linked to hunger lately. It is a great drama which is already affecting to thousands of Venezuelans while the Government of Maduro tries to rest importance, and even making jokes in public about the food scarcity.
The case of Venezuela is not the only state with an immensely rich’ land by its natural resources, which has a high level of poverty and a very low per capita income. But earlier, Venezuela did not have that poverty among most of the population, in fact, the country received many immigrants. Beyond any logic, the Chavista regime has taken Venezuela to this extreme situation, in a country where there was a broad middle class. Now, the food shortage has claimed dozens of children lives so far, already this 2017 year.
Maduro’s government has tried to hide this information abroad by all means, as well as silence the press. But Venezuelan citizens while using the social networks, have been protecting those Venezuelan journalists who are trying hard to inform about it. The work they do, besides respect, deserves to be projected inside and outside the country. The joint effort of journalism’ professionals as well as that of these citizen reporters has made to the world to be aware, awake and conscious about the Venezuelan crisis.
The History judges by their facts to all the regimes. In the political arena, the imprisonment with which the Chavista regime punishes his opponents, as well as the permanent violation of Venezuelans civil rights, embodies the absence of freedom. And in the economic field, the malnutrition of children and photographs which show the famine of the population, speak for themselves. The is a tyranny already in the terminal phase. But it is intolerable and beyond all bearing that, in its delirious going forward, the regime keeps punishing to all Venezuelan people. The world must know it.