Venezuela has been a mess for a long time. There are rolling blackouts. The people are starving. People from all social classes are eating out of garbage cans; the educated have now resorted to prostitution for groceries. Even some kids are now selling their bodies for basic supplies. It’s heinous. Zoos are being broken into, where the animals are being slaughtered for meat. Hospitals are reportedly operating under 19thcentury conditions. Basic supplies, like soap and gloves, are in short supply. Medicine is also in short supply. It’s a disaster. Nicolas Maduro, the successor to the late Hugo Chavez, is presiding over the massive collapse of so-called 21st Century Socialism.
In fact, as Katie noted on the Triggered podcast, the actions of Maduro have turned the region against them. With Maduro reportedly losing trust in his military, which was keeping him in power, Cuban forces (or gangs) have been handling the suppressive operations and the beatings to keep the revolution alive. The only problem is that Cuba is also rationing supplies because they’re dumping tons of aid to Venezuela (via CBS News):
The Cuban government announced Friday it is launching widespread rationing of chicken, eggs, rice, beans, soap and other basic products in the face of a grave economic crisis. Commerce Minister Betsy Díaz Velázquez told the state-run Cuban News Agency that various forms of rationing would be employed in order to deal with shortages of staple foods.
Díaz blamed the hardening of the U.S. trade embargo by the Trump administration. Economists give equal or greater blame to a plunge in aid from Venezuela, where the collapse of the state-run oil company has led to a nearly two-thirds cut in shipments of subsidized fuel that Cuba used for power and to earn hard currency on the open market.
Cuba imports roughly two-thirds of its food at an annual cost of more than $2 billion and brief shortages of individual products have been common for years. In recent months, a growing number of products have started to go missing for days or weeks at a time, and long lines have sprung up within minutes of the appearance of scarce products like chicken or flour.
Venezuela has entered the terminal stages of the cancer that is socialism. Cuba could be teetering on a similar fate if they continue to help prop up this quasi-failed state.