So far, just at the University Hospital of Maracaibo, the Venezuelan blackout has left a toll of 296 dead, among them 80 babies, as the massive power outage now enters its fifth day. Without electricity, there is no internet or cell phones, so there is a lack of information on the total number of deaths. There is already talk of genocide, which follows patterns of previous dictatorships that sought to hold on to power at all costs.
Since the government is the only supplier of electricity in the country, it bears the blame for this crisis, and its actions are entirely part of a political strategy.
The morgues at the nation’s main hospitals are already under military custody, and Venezuelan families have no way to communicate with each other, and many with loved ones in hospitals are fearing the worst.
The official figures have reported 17 deaths linked to the lack of dialysis.
Key opposition leader Maria Corina Machado, expressed her outrage at the unfolding disaster: “And babies in incubators? And the patients in intensive therapy? And those who need dialysis today? And those who need to keep their chemotherapy treatments refrigerated?”
Among the most shocking images, is that of a mother with her little daughter in arms turned into skin and bones by malnutrition so severe that she died without being able to access medical care, since the hospitals do not have energy.
The appearance of the girl is typical of the victims of Holodomor, which in Ukrainian means “artificial hunger.” This is how the process that starved 7,000,000 Ukrainians on the orders of Stalin, leader of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, is known.
The famine in Ukraine, in fact, was not due to a lack of food. On the contrary, just as today Venezuela is the country with the world’s greatest oil reserves, Ukraine was the richest area in terms of grain. Under Stalin’s socialist regime, it had to supply the rest of the 15 republics that formed the Soviet Union.
Those who opposed the expropriation, were punished. They were sent to forced labor camps in Siberia, where 1.5 million people froze to death. Those who stayed were condemned to work the land without being able to eat the fruits of their own labor. If a Ukrainian ate what he harvested, he was shot on the spot.
Also during the government of Lenin, the first socialist government inspired by the ideas of Karl Marx, 5 million people died of hunger, when by order of the Bolshevik government, they were denied access to food in retaliation for their civil uprising.
The shortage was such that cannibalism was no longer penalized. Parents sold the frozen bodies of their children for food, and mothers chose to kill their small children to feed the elderly.
Both events show that the failure of socialism in Venezuela is not about the inability of Nicolás Maduro, nor about the sanctions imposed (just since the assumption of the presidency of Juan Guaidó) by the United States, but that it is the socialist system that fails both in theory and in practice.
— Sergio Novelli (@SergioNovelli) March 10, 2019
China suffered a similar fate in the context of its Agrarian Reform. The Chinese, also motivated by socialist ideology, killed the birds so that there would be more grain for people. As a consequence, the lack of birds caused an epidemic of insects that simultaneously devastated all the crops; thus causing even more hunger in the country. More than 12,000,000 people died, including numerous landlords killed during the expropriation process.
To a lesser degree, history was repeated in Salvador Allende’s Chile, which expropriated 3 million hectares, and faced the resistance of the owners (and employees) who worked the land, resulting in 1,200 deaths.
— Prof. Steve Hanke (@steve_hanke) March 8, 2019
In all its forms, socialism has failed. Redistributing wealth instead of creating it inevitably inevitably brings hunger and misery.
Now, in Venezuela, after two decades of socialism, the average citizen has lost an average of 24 pounds.
The lack of medical supplies and food (aggravated by the burning of humanitarian aid by the Maduro regime) is now worsened by the absence of electricity that harms those who have the most fragile health conditions: cancer patients and premature babies, among others.
This is compounded by the violence that is experienced in hospitals. Doctors have been dismissed, and today military personnel are guarding the morgues so that furious relatives can not enter, in search of their loved ones.
Niños en el JM de los Ríos, gritan por las ventanas que tienen hambre; personal de seguridad no permite que familiares salgan ni que el obispo Tulio Ramírez, ingrese al centro asistencial; colectivos amenazan a los menores desde afuera reportan colegas/foto cortesía pic.twitter.com/Msh4J9l6fQ
— Dereck Blanco (@Dereckb) March 10, 2019
There have even been reports that children who cry out of hunger pains are threatened by groups loyal to the regime, which also forbid the entrance of exit of clergy.
The situation has reached such a point that the interim president already said publicly that Article 187 of the Constitution is an option, which implies the legality of a military intervention, since the situation in Venezuela is already unsustainable.