The Deepening Disaster in Venezuela
A Venezuelan ministry last week announced Resolution No. 9855, which calls for the establishment of a “transitory labor regime” in order to relaunch the agricultural and food sector. The decree says that the government must do what is “necessary to achieve strategic levels of self-sufficiency,” and states that workers can be forcefully moved from their jobs to work in farm fields or elsewhere in the agricultural sector for periods of 60 days.
“Trying to tackle Venezuela’s severe food shortages by forcing people to work the fields is like trying to fix a broken leg with a band aid,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International, in a statement.
The depth and breadth of this man-made economic disaster is staggering.
Venezuela’s oil-dependent economy capsized with the fall in crude prices in 2014, leaving whole swaths of the country’s 31 million people without enough food or other necessities. Inflation is expected to hit almost 720 percent this year, and gross domestic product is seen falling by 8 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Of course, as Greg Weeks notes in regards to the force labor policy noted above: ”not only is it hard to see this measure doing any good with regard to production, it is guaranteed to make people mad, which will the make the situation worse.”
One continues to wonder how long the Maduro government, and the regime structure currently in place that supports it, can endure.