Where's The Outrage?
After our technical difficulties yesterday, here’s the reboot….
There’s a lot of outrage out there these days…maybe there’s a lot to be outraged about? This piece from NPR caught my eye. The acting director of UN World Food Program in Venezuela says children’s malnutrition must be dealt with immediately. They had various examples of ‘stick thin’ children in soup kitchens. Substandard nutrition in children under age 6 suppresses full physical and cognitive potential. That seems like a less threatening way of saying they won’t grow up to be as strong or as smart as they should be. 1 in 3 Venezuelans are food insecure, they don’t know where their next meal will come from. How is this possible with plenty of fertile farmland available?
Well, years ago Chavez expropriated over three and a half million acres of good arable farmland and gave it to the poor. At last count only 35,000 of those acres were producing food. I can’t blame the poor people that received the land.It takes a long time and a lot of knowledge to make a living farming. Most family farms have been in the family for generations. It was very short sighted to think you could just take a poor family from Caracas and drop them on a farm and think they could grow crops.
The lost food production cannot be replaced with the Chavista’s recommendation that they should all have gardens on the rooftops of Caracas. The suggestion that Venezuelans should view their cute little pet rabbits not as little bunnies but as two and a half kilos of meat. There is also the issue of food transportation problems due to the chronic fuel shortages. I know, it’s crazy that the country with the world’s largest proven oil reserves has no gasoline or diesel to get produce to market.
Maduro’s CLAP food program certainly isn’t the answer.Beside the fact that the monthly food box won’t feed a family of five,as promised, 60% of recipients say they only receive the boxes every three months or longer. The CLAP program is used mainly for coercion and intimidation. Food is a powerful weapon as we’ve seen in Somalia and other places.
Just recently the Maduro regime began,on a limited basis, to allow NGOs to bring food into the country. NGOs cannot replace the government’s responsibility to care for it’s people. Venezuelans have been starving and dying under the Maduro regime for years and the children are being robbed of the future they deserve. Where’s the outrage?
Caracas Chronicles, one of our favorite outlets, had a piece on the 2021 migration crisis highlights (or low lights). There are now over 6 million Venezuelans that have fled 21st Century Bolivarian Socialism. The Darien Gap,a dangerous overland route for those heading north to the US border, has seen an increase in Venezuelan migrants of 2,216% from 2017-2021. The number of Venezuelans encountered at the US southern border is up almost 1,000%. And the hit’s just keep on coming.
Now, Down The Rabbit Hole we go….
Protester after protester all have had the same response to the question “Why are you protesting?” And the answer is…”As long as Maduro remains in power we will continue to die!” Sanctions relief would simply allow Maduro and his cadre to remain in power longer causing more and more Venezuelans to die every day.That is, of course, unless you believe that Maduro will wake up tomorrow and after eight years of doing nothing but inflicting pain and death on his people suddenly decide to provide them with food and medicine instead of buying more weapons to prolong his tenure. What do you think?
Another revenue source which isn’t talked about by the usual suspects and is vehemently denied by the Chavistas is trafficking. Their vast networks for illegal trafficking of narcotics,food,fuel,minerals,etc. produce an estimated almost $9 billion a year. Where are stories of the benevolent narco traffickers buying medicine and baby formula for the long suffering people of Venezuela? I will get into the details of these trafficking operations in subsequent writings but anyone that does even minimal research on the Maduro regime knows of the existence of these networks and how (and how much) they profit the Chavistas.These are bad guys and what they do to the people of Venezuela is pure evil. As Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
So what are the alternatives? Doing nothing is not an option and I don’t want to see the other extreme of armed intervention although the “Great Liberator”,Simon Bolivar, used armed intervention by the British to free Colombians and Venezuelans from Spanish colonial rule (another one of those things nobody likes to talk about). Dialogue? You can’t be serious.Dialogue has been tried 5 times (or more) with the Chavistas since 2014 and has failed miserably as the first thing on the list, free and fair elections monitored by independent international organizations (the recent Mexico negotiations and subsequent elections not withstanding), is a non-starter for Chavismo. With Maduro’s 13% approval rating his party,PSUV, would lose in dramatic fashion, as they did in 2015.That pretty much leaves us with sanctions in the hope that they will financially strangle the Maduro regime to the point where Maduro can no longer buy the loyalty of the military and he will be forced out as internal and international pressure continue to mount.
There is one more thing that nobody (except yours truly) seems to be talking about and I alluded to it earlier. If none of this works out Maduro is still screwed and unfortunately the Venezuelan people with him. The bond holders are still out there and have been making some news recently. Once again, we will have to leave the details of this scenario for another time as it’s complicated but the only reason the bond holders have been sitting on their hands is the hope that they can achieve a better outcome in the future. When that hope is gone the bond vultures that have been circling will swoop in and there will be nothing left but bones.
Summary : Like it or not we live in a sound bite world and people are prone to irresponsibly parrot anything that supports their views without bothering to check the facts.It’s easy to see with even the most superficial amount of fact checking that Venezuelans were suffering and dying long before the first sanctions were initiated, that non-individual sanctions weren’t initiated until the Chavistas had every opportunity to address the horrific conditions they have imposed on their people, and options other than initiating and continuing sanctions allow more atrocities to be perpetrated on the people and more Venezuelans die. Once again, this is a man made disaster, a Chavista made disaster.
That will do it for this week. We’ll be back Monday with our next chapter of Venezuela : Down The Rabbit Hole, “Killing The Goose That Laid The Golden Eggs”, as well as more recent news.
Have a great weekend everybody!!!
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