Venezuela is currently in the midst of a massive food crisis, leaving millions starving in the wake of failed socialism. Yet, that State-induced famine did not stop Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from eating a snack during a television address.
Many have criticized President Maduro of gaining weight during the country’s economic ruin. His main opposition leader Henrique Capriles told the press in March, "The only one gaining weight in Venezuela is Maduro. He hardly fits in the TV screen any more.”
It appears now the proof is in the pudding. After recording a TV address, President Maduro believed that the footage was no longer rolling, reached into a drawer, and pulled out an empanada to take a few nibbles.
Venezuelan socialism was at one point hailed by those on the American left as a glorious economic model of prosperity and fairness. In 2011, Democratic-Socialist Bernie Sanders said, "These days, the American dream is more apt to be realized in South America, in places such as Ecuador, Venezuela and Argentina..."
This statement of course flies in the face of reality. The fact of the matter is that socialism, like everywhere it is tried, has ailed the Venezuelan people. It benefits only those in power. Socialism inflicted upon the people by the dead president Hugo Chavez and continued by his predecessor Maduro has been nothing short of a humanitarian crisis. Millions of Venezuelans have experienced days with out food, lines around the block for simple amenities such as toilet paper, horrible crime, as well as free speech violations and unfair treatment towards opposition parties.
The crisis is so bad that the government is resorting to ludicrous tactics to "help" the situation. President Maduro earlier this year suggested that the people he claims to represent eat rabbit meat as a way of surviving. “For animal protein, which is such an important issue, a 'rabbit plan' has been approved because rabbits also breed like rabbits,” he said in a televised address. The idea was the government would give people a certain amount of rabbits which could be self-sustaining food and protein supply.
This plan failed as people were treating the rabbits as pets. Government issued rabbits for consumption were not the answer to socialist failures after all. Until capitalism is implemented, the people will continue to starve. It is no surprise then that according to Fox News, roughly 75% of Venezuelans lost 19 pounds in the past year.
This does not matter to President Maduro, who whether intended or not, told his impoverished nation, "Déjalos comer empanadas!" - AKA "Let them eat empanadas!"