Venezuela to City Dwellers: Grow Your Own!

We have chronicled the sickening descent of resource-rich Venezuela into chaos and poverty. Along with the tragedy, there is a strong element of farce, as with Venezuela’s inability to produce or buy toilet paper. More serious than the toilet paper shortage, however, is the food shortage. Venezuelans are starving, and their socialist government has come up with a solution: grow your own fruits and vegetables.

To its credit, the Washington Post names the cause of the country’s collapse in the first sentence of its article:

Some Venezuelan city dwellers are trying to grow their own produce to offset the country’s severe shortages following socialist President Nicolás Maduro’s calls for “food sovereignty.”

But in a country where families are going hungry as a result of government mismanagement and sky-high inflation, many view the “Great Agro-Venezuela Mission” with skepticism.

Not to be picky, but the reference to “government mismanagement” is off target. Socialism is per se mismanagement; there is no way to do socialism right.

As always, the socialists, who are now resorting to illegal means–a coup, in effect–to retain their grip on power, blame others for their failures:

“We’re doing this to combat the economic warfare so that they can’t have us on our knees again,” said Galvis, echoing the government’s argument that the deep recession is the fault of opposition business leaders and the United States.

It is hard to imagine that any Venezuelans are still fooled. The Post reproduces this sardonic tweet:

The government makes absurd claims for the efficacy of urban agriculture:

But limited land is not a restriction, says the Ministry of Urban Agriculture, suggesting that citizens can produce 20 kilos — nearly 45 pounds — of fruits and vegetables with just one meter of land.

I assume that means square meter. In any event, the Venezuelan tragic farce rolls on. I suspect that by now, President Maduro has an airplane warmed up and ready to take him, on short notice, to a country where an autocratic ruler, not yet bankrupt, still believes in socialism.

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