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When do we get to call the ‘Maduro diet’ in Venezuela a crime against humanity?

Consequence of intentional government policies in Venezuela. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

A one-year old child who weighs 11 pounds.

Eleven.

In what used to be the regions’s richest country, the average weight loss in the last year is 19 pounds.

That’s an average weight loss according to a survey by social scientists measuring the impact Venezuelan government policies are having on the citizens of the country.

It is called the ‘Maduro diet’ in dishonor of the president who is gladly continuing the polices that have broken the once rich nation.

It is a common site to see people picking through trash hoping to find something that is edible.

When will those of us who don’t have to decide which of our children get to eat today start calling the expected results of intentional policies a crime against humanity?

Let’s take a quick look at health care in Venezuela before returning to the starvation issue.

Collapse of the health care system

The medical crisis is so bad that even CNN has noticed. On 5/11/17 they reported Amid chaos in Venezuela, infant deaths, malaria cases skyrocket.

 

The government released statistics for 2016. They reported:

  • Malaria cases increased 76% in the year, to 240,000
  • Maternal deaths increased 66%
  • Infant deaths up 30%, to 11,466 dying in 2016

It is so bad that if you need hospital care, you must bring along your own medicine, gauze, needles, and any other supplies that will be needed for your treatment.

Oh, and keep a close eye on your stuff while at the hospital – thieves work the hospitals to find stuff to sell on the black market.

To show the value of truth in the worker’s paradise, CNN reports on 5/12/17 the Venezuela health minister fired after revealing data showing 66% rise in maternal deaths. She might want to take an extended vacation. Outside the country. Soon.

More on starvation across the country

On 5/5/17 The Wall Street Journal described the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela that is expanding every day: Venezuela is Starving.

Be careful before you look at the photos in the article. These aren’t staged pictures. These aren’t Hollywood actors pretending to be hungry. These aren’t Parisian models who choose not to eat.

The only new thing I can find in the entire article is that it was printed on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.

Other than the specific names and some details mentioned, everything else in the article is something I’ve read before.

Things like:

  • The world’s highest inflation, running around 720% a year, is in Venezuela.
  • Looting of food stores.
  • A study of 800 children under age 5 found that 11% were in state of severe acute malnutrition, which is life threatened. The survey found the rate was 8.7% last October. That is an increase of 3.5% in six months.
  • The same study found 20% of children under 5 are in chronic malnutrition.
  • Hospitals have little medicine (see article above).
  • In 5 years, 82% of hog farms have closed and production of pork has dropped by a whopping 71%.
  • Eighty percent of the population is now poor.
  • Many families choose one member of the family to only have one meal a day so the others have bit more to eat.
  • One pensioner explains his monthly retirement check is only enough to buy four boxes of milk. How does one stay alive when your entire income will only buy a box of milk a week?

Can you even imagine? One box of milk to provide all your nutrition for 7 days.

If you can stomach the sight, look at the photos of the people in the article. They are wasting away.

The article does at least identify some of the government policies that caused this disaster: nationalization of private farms, currency restrictions, price controls. Left out of the list is nationalization of many private companies.

Three questions for you to consider

Again, when can we start calling the current situation a crime against humanity?

What is the necessary number of deaths caused as a direct, expected result of government policy to cross the threshold of labeling this as genocide? The devastation is not there yet, but what level of deaths is needed to cross the line?

What economic system produced this unnecessary humanitarian disaster?

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