HAVANA TIMES – A few days ago, I mentioned how irrational the idea of “humanitarian aid” (in terms of food), is for Venezuela. First of all because the amount being donated is just enough for a couple of weeks and for less than a million people; secondly, because even though it sounds strange, Venezuela has food.
In all this time, amidst times of “crisis”, the government only had that nice idea of giving out a couple of rabbits per household, to be reared, and the other (which is even more aberrant yet), the CLAPs food rationing system.
There has never been a policy that supports agriculture, and this isn’t the first time that I am mentioning this. In fact, the exact opposite is happening, the State is buying products at prices that are completely disadvantageous and abusive to farmers.
The National Guard and organized crime take it upon themselves to take another large share. The State’s scarce interest in ensuring farming supplies really is the icing on the cake. Those who are still planting in this country are doing so with their own bare hands, almost literally. Only a little bit of willpower and organization is needed to make the very basic, at least, reach the population at a reasonable price. But, there isn’t any.
The private sector isn’t helping either by selling food at less abusive prices.
In Venezuela, there are people who go hungry, but for many people, the crisis has just meant that they can no longer afford a certain brand. Large business-owners only worry about their own profits.
So we can say that neither the Government nor private enterprise have any intention of providing “humanitarian aid” to the people. Let me clarify that government members or relatives and close family members are also part of what makes up private enterprise.
While opposition business representatives support the arrival of this mockery of humanitarian aid, the Venezuelan government is now offering aid to people who live in Cucuta, the Colombian municipality on the other side of the border.
In the meantime, a British magnate is organizing a fundraising concert for the Venezuelan people, and Maduro’s government is organizing another concert… to counter the other concert? Why does the government have money to pay national and international artists in USD (like it always does) and not have any money to invest in hospitals?
Levels of corruption in this country are so severe that I wonder, if humanitarian aid did manage to reach Venezuela, would it really go to those who need it?
On the other hand, Venezuela urgently needs significant medicine donations. While the whole food issue is quite controversial because of shortages and the exorbitant prices of many products which doesn’t mean that there aren’t enough basic foodstuffs for people to survive; this isn’t the same case for medicine.
The government has preferred to invest and take out loans to buy weapons while the national deficit of medicines has marked thousands of Venezuelan families. Too many people have died because preventative medicines haven’t been available. And in over five years of severe shortages, the government hasn’t done anything. Therefore, I think that this aid, as well as international support for a referendum, is what this country really needs.
The government is already handing out bags of food at their whim, but we don’t need more of the same old.