Many of the faithful within Venezuela have started to worry about just how bad things have become. The Catholic Church in Venezuela has said it is running out of wine and can no longer afford communion wafers because of nationwide shortages of basic supplies.
As always, the pathetic rhetoric of Nicolas is to blame someone else – he claims shortages are due to an opposition-led conspiracy and price speculations. God consorting with the godless – really?? The truth is more prosaic – state interference in the economy and inadequate domestic production.
Oil-rich Venezuela relies on imports, but currency controls have restricted its ability to pay for foreign goods, a reason for the shortages. Supplies of milk, sugar, cooking oil and corn flour – which is used to make Venezuela’s national dish, the arepa – are all affected as are sanitary items and basic toiletries like soap and toothpaste.
The main international news headlines about Venezuela are about exactly the things that no government should become involved in – the flow of small commercial items through an open market system. Nowhere in the world is there more proof that foolish market interference does not work. As previously noted in these columns the answer is called a shop – see below.
Scatalogical jokes abounded worldwide about the shortages of toilet paper. More jokes will now follow and Venezuela is beginning to look more and more like a Banana Republic. How long will the citizens of a self-proclaimed rich country with the largest proven oil reserves in the world put up with this folly? Will it just end up toppling the useless Maduro and letting hardliner Cabello and his military friends nearer to power or will common sense prevail and give Venezuela a government which will govern and address the major issues?
Venezuela needs to address and solve: record murder rates, chronic power cuts, food shortages, shortages of other basic household items, government interference in food distribution, risible official food prices which no-one can pretend are in effect or sustainable, rotten infrastructure, huge levels of corruption and a ridiculous paranoia which blames every problem on conspiracies from outside forces.
No one needs a conspiracy to help Maduro make a mess of everything – he is no better than the fool Chavez who started this disaster.