While we have reported on previous incidents of looting, analysts are starting to fear that the current wave could linger amid the Venezuela’s economic freefall into a Mad-Max-like dystopia - very different from the promised-land of socialist utopian success promised by Bernie Sanders and his Latin American predecessors.
It is clear that amid desperate food shortages Venezuelans are picking up new survival skills.
“It makes you want to cry,” said Luis Felipe Anatael in a telephone interview with The Guardian.
“I think we are headed for chaos.”
A hungry mob took just 30 minutes to pick clean his grocery store in the eastern city of Puerto Ordaz, hauling away everything from cold cuts to ketchup to the cash registers.
“Whenever there are anti-government protests, they have more than enough teargas, tanks and troops to put them down,” he said.
“But for us business people, there is no security.”
During the first few days of January the Venezuelan Observatory for Social Conflict, a Caracas rights group, recorded 107 episodes of looting and several deaths in 19 of Venezuela’s 23 states.
As The Guardian notes, President Nicolás Maduro blames the country’s woes on an “economic war” against his government by rightwingers and foreign interests.
But rather than reforming the economy, the government has resorted to handouts and far-fetched schemes.
A newly formed ministry of urban farming encourages people to grow tomatoes and raise chickens on their patios and rooftops.
Another campaign encourages Venezuelans to breed rabbits for the table. At a recent news conference, Freddy Bernal, the urban farm minister, declared:
“We need people to understand that a rabbit is not a pet. It’s two and a half kilos of meat.”
But as they grow thinner some Venezuelans insist they have a right to take matters into their own hands.That was the case in the western city of Maracaibo, where residents recently swarmed into the streets, stopped two trucks filled with flour and candy, and emptied them.
“We either loot or we die of hunger,” one of the looters, Maryoli Corniele, told Diario la Verdad, the local newspaper.
As Daniel Greenfield recently wrote, this is what really happens when socialists run out of other people's money.
Hugo Chavez had once touted the “marvelous community experience” of bartering. Now his collapsing narcostate is reduced to bartering its precious metals and jewels to survive.
Ordinary Venezuelans have long ago been battling imaginary inflation in the real life horror of socialism by trading in their worthless money for subsidized products and then reselling them on the black market. But increasingly they’re just bartering them to avoid the increasingly worthless currency.
Venezuela’s new supermarkets are the Facebook groups where the people trade sugar for beans. It’s a marvelous community experience that Hugo Chavez’s daughter, the richest woman in Venezuela, hasn’t been able to share with the rest of the populace. When Maduro, the former bus driver driving the country off a cliff as its insane leftist dictator, began chowing down on an empanada during a televised speech, the mouths of his starving people watered and a million memes were born.
What happens when socialists run out of money? They start pawning the family jewels for more imaginary money while creating conspiracy theories about a capitalist war on socialism.
The left hates reality and math. Its theories turn money worthless. And you can’t eat theories.
Venezuelan socialists took a booming economy, destroyed its currency and reduced it to a barter economy. That’s what happens when socialists finally run out of other people’s money.
If you want to imagine the future of socialism, picture trading sugar for beans on social media.
That’s the leftist economy of tomorrow brought to you by their welfare policies of today.
Actor Sean Penn met with Hugo Chavez on numerous occasions, describing him as a “fascinating guy” who did “incredible things for the 80% of the people that are very poor there.”
After Chávez’s death in 2013, Penn said that the “United States lost a friend it never knew it had” while “poor people around the world lost a champion.”
“Venezuela and its revolution will endure under the proven leadership of vice president Nicolas Maduro,” he continued.
As Venezuela descends into chaos there is dead silence from all the leftists from @MMFlint to Sean Penn who cozied up to Hugo Chavez
— Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) April 20, 2017
Film director Oliver Stone was such a fan of Chávez and the rise Latin American socialism that he made a film about it, entitled South of the Border. In the film, he conducted interviews with the continent’s left-wing leaders, including Chávez, Cuba’s Raúl Castro, Argentina’s Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, and Bolivia’s Evo Morales.
“I mourn a great hero to the majority of his people and those who struggle throughout the world for a place,” Stone said after Chávez’s death. “Hated by the entrenched classes, Hugo Chávez will live forever in history.”
Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson visited Caracas in 2005 to apologize for remarks by TV evangelist Pat Robertson in which he called for Chávez’s assassination.
Addressing the Venezuelan parliament, Jackson said there was no evidence that Venezuela posed a threat to the United States, while praising Chávez for his “focus on foreign debt, debt relief, and free and fair trade to overcome years of structural disorder, unnecessary military spending, [and] land reform.”
After Chávez’s death, Jackson also offered a prayer at his funeral while celebrating his socialist legacy.
“Hugo fed the hungry. He lifted the poor. He raised their hopes. He helped them realize their dreams. And, so, today we do mourn, because we’ve lost a lot. But we have a lot left – a stable government, an orderly transition,” he said.
Unlike others in Hollywood, filmmaker Michael Moore did not share a close relationship with Chávez. However, the pair did meet at the 2009 Venice Film Festival and, after Chávez’s death, Moore praised him for “eliminating 75 percent of extreme poverty” while “[providing] free health and education for all.”
Hugo Chavez declared the oil belonged 2 the ppl. He used the oil $ 2 eliminate 75% of extreme poverty, provide free health & education 4 all
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) March 6, 2013
The leader of the British Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn, currently standing to be the country’s next prime minister, was an avid supporter of Hugo Chávez and the Venezuelan regime.
Following his death in 2013, Corbyn thanked Chávez for allegedly insuring “that the poor matter and wealth can be shared,” adding he had made “massive contributions to Venezuela and the world.”
Thanks Hugo Chavez for showing that the poor matter and wealth can be shared. He made massive contributions to Venezuela & a very wide world— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) March 5, 2013
Actor Danny Glover became one of Chávez’s most prominent supporters after meeting Chávez in 2006. The following year, the Venezuelan government even gave Glover $18 million to direct a film on the Haitian revolution. It was never released.
“He was not only my friend, he was my brother,” Glover said after Chávez’s death. “It’s difficult for a leader like him to exist in these times. His vision for humanity and the world can only be compared to that of leaders like Nelson Mandela. He was a great man and I cried when he died.”
In 2014, Glover also gave a speech next to Nicolas Maduro, asking him to “to continue [Chavez’s] vision of a participatory democracy, one involving all citizens,” while calling his government “the stewards of this democracy.”
"Survey: Israelis worry most about threats internally and from the north"
And they have no idea how prophetic their "worries" are....
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