The Venezuelan military has seized control of the nation’s major ports and has been placed in charge of distributing food in an attempt to deter murderous, starving food bandits. That is not even the worst news.
The military has also been put in charge of “controlling prices and stimulating production,” guaranteeing that the nation will face both a thriving black market and bloody crackdowns on the same. A recent study found that half of school children are going to bed hungry at least once a week. The government, funded mainly by oil revenue, is now undertaking an ambitious food distribution program at the same time that its oil production falls to a 13-year low. The government is also investigating an alleged billion-dollar bribery scheme tied to the state oil company. The government also recently seized a diaper factory. Neighboring countries are blocking Venezuela’s president from participating in international organizations. Entire families are sleeping on city sidewalks in order to wake up early and get in line for food. The majority of the population now buys goods from “bachaqueros,” people who stand in long lines to buy scarce products and then resell them at a markup. Indeed, standing in long lines is perhaps the last remaining growth industry in Venezuela. Not even gun murders in broad daylight can tempt bystanders to abandon their spot in line to help a bleeding victim. Last week, hundreds of desperate women rushed past border guards in order to buy food in Colombia.
In Caracas, the entire nightlife industry has shut down due to fear of violent crime. Pet owners are abandoning their dogs on the side of the road. The nation is gripped by an epidemic of garage sales, as families sell everything they own in order to survive. And as if that wasn’t enough, Venezuela’s economic crisis has now trickled all the way down to the most innocent victim of all: the Miami luxury condo market.