When last we visited the socialist paradise of Venezuela (figuratively speaking—we avoid actually traveling to sh*tholes as a practice), they were denying the hyperinflation ravaging what they laughingly call an economy.
We should have known what would come next, and we kind of did:
“Inflation doesn’t exist in real life.” Neither does hunger, until you can’t get anything to eat.
Amid the worst economic crisis Venezuela has faced in decades, the self-described “revolutionary” government led by President Nicolas Maduro has set in motion a revolutionary idea to solve the acute food shortages: let’s become producers at home.
“Cilia and I have 50 chickens in our house,” said Maduro recently, referring to his wife. “It’s time to develop a new culture of production,” he added, before announcing the creation of yet another ministry called the Urban Farming Ministry.
The new institution is headed by Emma Ortega, a left-wing and colorful activist known to be a longtime friend of President Maduro.
“People have to solve the current emergency cultivating in any available space,” she said this week during a first meeting of urban farmers in Caracas. “We just need sun, water and a lot of hearth. Currently our cities are just food consumers and parasites,” she noted.
Nice way to refer to the proletariat. Your true Marxist colors are showing.
In the past few years, Venezuela has grown increasingly dependent on food imports to cover the needs of its 30 million people. But the dramatic drop in oil prices greatly reduced its purchasing power, which explains the persistent scarcity of the most basic goods and the snaky lines all over the country.
The socialist government is offering workshops and classes to enlighten those who know nothing about farming. In an interview with Fox News Latino, Maria Jimenez, a field technician with the government-run Siare Foundation, explained that all that is required is “any available place at your house with enough light.”
“In a balcony you can cultivate in self-made wooden tables or in bottles,” she said. “You can grow tomatoes, chives, cayenne, pepper and much more.”
Let them eat chives!
“Venezuela’s food production problems will not be solved with urban farming. They are caused by macroeconomic imbalances that need to be corrected,” said Tomas Socias, economist and former president of Venezuela’s Chamber of Food Industry.
Socias argued that the price controls currently in place for certain goods has to be lifted and that the government needs to subsidize producers who are idle due to their inability to import resources.
“Ninety percent of the products made here need foreign raw material. That requires dollars and for that the government has to stop importing food to activate the national production again,” the expert said.
This, instead, is what they get:
“If a gringo comes here, we have to beat him with a stick. If we just have a pencil, we have to poke him in the eyes,” said the 62-year-old farmer and ceramist back in March of 2015, after the U.S. sanctioned seven Venezuelan government officials for their alleged violation of human rights.
I don’t think too many gringos are heading down Caracas, my ceramist señorita. Joe Kennedy, Jr. was probably the last one, but now he can get cheap oil anywhere without kissing Hugo Chavez’s fatal pelvic abcess. Hope you like chives.