Shipwreck standing on the beach with the sea in the background. Margarita Island. Venezuela. Photo courtesy of

Shipwreck standing on the beach with the sea in the background. Margarita Island, Venezuela. Photo courtesy of

The heartbreaking humanitarian crisis in Venezuela just keeps getting worse.

If only they had massive amounts of energy in the ground that they could sell.

Oh, I wonder what economic system caused this massive suffering?

(Cross post from my other blog, Outrun Change, on October 12.)

9/4 – New York Times – Venezuelan President is Chased by Angry Protesters – After walking into a crowd during a political rally, the president was run off by the crowd screaming ‘we’re hungry’ accompanied with lots of banging on pots and kettles.

9/20 – New York Times – How Bad Off is Oil-Rich Venezuela? It’s Buying U.S. Oil – I don’t understand the process, but apparently you need to use light sweet crude in order to get thick sour crude out of the ground. Production in Venezuela has dropped so far that since early in 2016 the country has had to import 50,000 BOPD of light sweet from the US in order to maintain production.

Even with that, production is down to 2.4M bopd now from about 2.75M bopd a year ago. That reflects a 1M bopd drop from when Hugo Chavez took over as president in 1998.

9/26 – Fox News – Venezuelan children fainting in school because they are hungry – One very brave teacher is quoted by name. Last academic year about 10 children were absent from her class every day out of 30 students enrolled.

Some variation of hunger was always the reason. Either the child was too weak to get to school, or the family used the transportation money to buy food, or it was their assigned day to stand in line all day starting at 3 a.m. to get what little food was available at the government store and there wasn’t anyone to get the child to class.

Recent survey showed 36% of school children are only eating two meals a day while 10% are eating only once a day. That leaves around 54% of school children able to eat three meals a day.

Hmmm. I wonder what economic system is causing this level of suffering.

10/1 Daily Mail – Hungry Venezuelans stop a livestock truck and steal crates of chickens after country’s food shortage spirals out of control – A crowd swarmed a truck carrying chickens and stole the chickens. The video, not linked at the article, visually describes the desperation in the country.

8/16 – AP at NBC News – Venezuela: Health Crisis Means Kid’s Scraped Knee Can Be Life or Death – Article says one-third of the people admitted to hospitals died last year.


Article tells the tale of a little girl who scraped her knee. That turned into a staph infection. The scarcity of antibiotics in the country meant she maxed her temperature at 103. According to the article, a hospital that used to be one of the best in Latin American is now known for shootings in the operating rooms and hold-ups in the stairs. There was so little medicine and treatment available that the infection collapse her lung and infected her heart.

But she was one of the lucky ones.

She is still alive.

She will have a limp from the scarring on her knee-joint and can expect congestive heart failure in a decade or two due to the damage to her heart value. But she survived.

That is the state of health care in the worker’s paradise of Venezuela.


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