Food has become so scarce in Venezuela it’s actually becoming more profitable to trade food on the black market rather than illicit drugs, thanks to harsh government control.
The hunger crisis that has been plaguing thousands of Venezuelans in large numbers since 2016 does not seem to have any signs of ending soon, at least if the national military has anything to do with it.
Last year Faithwire reported that the socialist government run by Nicolás Maduro seized control of the food industry and became solely responsible for production, distribution and marketing of basic necessities.
Now one of the reasons for the ongoing food, medicine and product shortage is the military’s involvement.
Just saw an old woman going around a Caracas market asking if any of the black market dealers had adult diapers. New year, new indignities
— Hannah Dreier (@hannahdreier) January 6, 2017
It has been reported that national military officials have gone to great lengths to make money off of the hunger crisis that has forced thousands out of the country and into early graves.
The service men involved in the scheme are leading illegal markets and bribing importers across the country as well as grocers.
“It’s an unbroken chain of bribery from when your ship comes in until the food is driven out in trucks,” a Caracas-based importer of Premier Foods, Luis Pena told Associated Press.
— Hannah Dreier (@hannahdreier) December 29, 2016
The agency did an investigative piece about the military’s involvement in the food crisis and discovered through a variety of sources, including former military members, that the armed men are at the heart of the graft.
As Venezuela goes hungry, the military is getting rich off trafficking food. And the corruption starts at the top https://t.co/Tbr9EjXZsm
— Hannah Dreier (@hannahdreier) December 28, 2016
Even pointing out that hundreds of chickens, pieces of meat and bean containers went bad last year from spoilage, the specific reasons are speculated, but it is easy to see that its either because of national officials forgetting about it or bribes not being paid.
“Lately, food is a better business than drugs,” a retired Gen. Cliver Alcala, who helped oversee border security at one point in the country said.
Coming tomorrow: As millions of Venezuelans went hungry this year, officials tasked with protecting the food supply got rich off corruption. pic.twitter.com/HXKR60uDC0
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 27, 2016
So what are other countries doing to stop this?
The American Government has opened up an investigation against high level Venezuelan offices for making substantial amounts of money from food contracts between the two countries.
And the three largest global food traders, which happen to be based in the United States, have stopped doing trade with Venezuela.
However, many are still dying while this Venezuelan food trade investigation in the United States is pending. That includes this teenage boy, who ate poison yuca because he was so hungry.
Gruesome death of a Venezuelan teenager who resorted to eating poison yuca after his family had no food for 3 days https://t.co/pIcOoT6yq0
— Hannah Dreier (@hannahdreier) December 26, 2016
HOW TO HELP
Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is a Christian based organization that is working in Venezuela right now to bring the gospel and alleviate poverty.
Venezuela in crisis – a disturbing story from Aid to the Church in Need. Prayers needed! https://t.co/TRA3WOKPUf
— Catholic Melbourne (@catholicmelb) July 11, 2016
The organization accepts donations.
And of course, prayers and petitions are always needed.