Today’s New York Times has a long article, replete with photographs, on starving children in Venezuela. The situation is grim:
Hunger has stalked Venezuela for years. Now, it is killing the nation’s children at an alarming rate, doctors in the country’s public hospitals say.
Venezuela has been shuddering since its economy began to collapse in 2014. Riots and protests over the lack of affordable food, excruciating long lines for basic provisions, soldiers posted outside bakeries and angry crowds ransacking grocery stores have rattled cities, providing a telling, public display of the depths of the crisis.
But deaths from malnutrition have remained a closely guarded secret by the Venezuelan government. In a five-month investigation by The New York Times, doctors at 21 public hospitals in 17 states across the country said that their emergency rooms were being overwhelmed by children with severe malnutrition — a condition they had rarely encountered before the economic crisis began.
The article goes on to describe how infants are dying of starvation, young children are leaving their homes to forage for food in dumpsters, adults are shriveling to the size of children, and so on. All of this despite Venezuela supposedly having the “largest proven oil reserves in the world.” The Times says Venezuela’s “economy has collapsed.” It refers to the country’s “economic crisis” at least seven times by my count, but the origin of that crisis remains a mystery. This is as close as the Times wants to come:
President Nicolás Maduro has acknowledged that people are hungry in Venezuela, but he has refused to accept international aid, often saying that Venezuela’s economic problems are caused by foreign adversaries like the United States, which he says is waging an economic war against his country.
The article moves on without comment.
Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world. But many economists contend that years of economic mismanagement set the stage for the current disaster.
Socialism by definition is economic mismanagement. But the Times never does finger the real culprit, although it does briefly mention the fact that Venezuela’s government is Socialist:
The Venezuelan government has used food to keep the Socialists in power, critics say. Before recent elections, people living in government housing projects said they were visited by representatives of their local Socialist community councils — the government-aligned groups that organize the delivery of boxes of cheap food — and threatened with being cut off if they did not vote for the government.
The Democrats should try that, if they aren’t doing it already.
The Times’s coverage of Socialist Bernie Sanders has been almost entirely positive, and it reports gleefully on the growing number of millennials who describe themselves as Socialists. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the paper’s editorial board endorse Elizabeth Warren in 2020. I suppose it would be too much cognitive dissonance for the Times to acknowledge that the end point of Socialism, always and everywhere, is empty zoos and vanishing pets; dumpsters scoured for food scraps; rats hunted as a protein source; police violence against the hungry; a disappearing health care system; populations fleeing to neighboring countries; and, as in Venezuela, starving children, while the Socialists in charge of the scam make off with billions of dollars.