A Quick Reminder of How Venezuela RAN OUT of Food: Does This Look Familiar?

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Author of The Blackout Book and the online course Bloom Where You’re Planted

We’d all like to believe that the United States is on the road to economic recovery and that things are going to get better. Everyone wants to think the store shelves are just a few cargo ships away from being refilled. People want to believe that once 2020 is over, life will return to “normal” and that we’re just having a really bad year.

But someone pointed out an article I published four and a half years ago and when you look at the things which happened there and compare them to our situation, you may notice some uncanny similarities.

Here’s how Venezuela ran out of food.

In February of 2016, I wrote about what an economic collapse really looks like, using Venezuela as an illustration.

Venezuela:

The article begins when prepping began to be frowned upon by the Venezuelan government.

In 2013, many began to suspect that the outlook for Venezuela was grim when prepping became illegal.  The Attorney General of Venezuela, Luisa Ortega Díaz, called on prosecutors to target people who are “hoarding” basic staples with serious sanctions.

Shortly thereafter, grocery stores instituted a fingerprint registry to purchase food and supplies. Families had to register and were allotted a certain amount of supplies to prevent “hoarding.” (source)

The United States:

Early in 2020, supplies began to be difficult to find due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the potential of a lockdown. When folks couldn’t find basics like toilet paper, fingers immediately began to point at “preppers” and “hoarders.”

The word “hoarding” is being repeatedly used throughout news reports. They’re already working to paint preppers as bad and selfish people. They’re already vilifying those who hurry out to fill any gaps in their supplies. They’re making it seem like a mental illness to get prepared for what could potentially be a long stretch of time at home with only the supplies you have on hand.

This is a frequent trick of propagandists everywhere. Repeat a word often enough and suddenly everyone begins using it. Everyone begins to believe that the people labeled with an ugly word are terrible, selfish, and threats to decency. (source)

This dialogue is still in place, with people being shamed for large purchases, when in fact, they’re simply getting necessities for a large family. A friend of mine with a large family has said she’d have to shop every two days with the original limits stores posted to keep everyone in her household well-fed.

Venezuela:

It wasn’t long until the basics were incredibly difficult to acquire.

Then, just over a year ago, it became even more apparent that the country was falling. when long lines for basic necessities such as laundry soap, diapers, and food became the norm rather than the exception. Thousands of people were standing in line for 5-6 hours in the hopes that they would be able to purchase a few much-needed items. (source)

The United States:

Writers on this website have talked about the shelves being cleared back in March, what we may see in shortage after halting many imports from China, and the fact that in most parts of the country, the supply chain is clearly broken.

People from all over the country have reported in the comments the bare spots in their local stores, with a few exceptions who say that everything in their part of the nation is back to normal. Many areas still have limits on how many packages of toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and canned goods customers can purchase months after the original panic-fueled shopping sprees.

Venezuela:

Shortly after the story broke to the rest of the world, the propaganda machine shifted into high gear.  As the government began to ration electricity, it was announced that this was not due to economic reasons at all, but instead was a measure of their great concern for the environment. (source)

The United States:

We’re looking at you, California, where PG&E, the largest power provider in the state has shut off the power to people in rural areas repeatedly over the past couple of years to “prevent wildfires.” Millions faced the hottest days of the summer without electricity.

Venezuela:

As stores struggled to provide the essentials to customers, the government stepped in to “help.”

As the situation continued to devolve, farmers in Venezuela were forced to hand over their crops last summer. They assumed control of essential goods like food, and began putting retail outlets out of business. Then, once they had control of the sales outlets, they began forcing farmers and food manufacturers to sell anywhere from 30-100% of their products to the state at the price the state opted to pay, as opposed to stores and supermarkets.

But that wasn’t enough to keep the population fed. (Isn’t it astonishing how much less motivated people are to produce food and supplies when they are no longer allowed to benefit from their hard work? Historically, collectivism and farming have never gone successfully hand in hand.) This January, the government told citizens that they would need to produce their own food. The Ministry of Urban Farming was created to oversee this. While self-reliance sounds great, it isn’t so great in Venezuela. Just so the urban farmers don’t get too self-reliant, a registry of the crops and livestock will be required. (And obviously, they’ve already proven that they have no issue forcing farmers to hand over what they’ve produced.) (source)

The United States:

As our supply chain devolved, it was learned that farmers in the United States were unable to get their products to the market due to logistics issues, closed packaging plants, and a totally different marketplace. The President signed an Executive Order to force people to go back to work at meat packaging plants and also tried to organize a way to get food that was just being thrown out to the people who desperately needed it.

Processing plants across the country are shutting down as more and more employees become ill. At least ten large meat processing plants have closed due to the virus. Distribution issues have farmers dumping thousands of gallons of milk, plowing under vegetables in the fields, and leaving potatoes to rot.

A lot of the food being produced was destined for restaurants, hotels, and cruise ships. Diverting it to grocery stores and the millions of people using food banks right now (because they didn’t get their money from unemployment yet, remember?) is unfortunately not as easy as it should be. This article explains some of the issues with getting food to hungry people.

One of the issues processing. With meat, in particular, this is difficult – most folks aren’t even going to be willing to process their own chickens and it’s wildly unrealistic to imagine a family in the city processing a cow or a pig. With produce, it becomes a little bit easier – anyone can wash fruits and vegetables – but employees are still needed to harvest the food.

A lot of that scarcity could be remedied if we could reallocate things – if janitorial supplies could be sold to the general public, if farmers could sell directly to stores or consumers, and if farmers could donate unpurchased items to food banks.

To summarize, farmers are losing billions of dollars and people are going without food, while the food we have is left to rot. Hopefully, President Trump’s new 19 billion dollar plan will allow the federal government to play matchmaker between frustrated farmers and hungry families. (source)

So while nobody has insisted farmers hand over their crops without compensation, the government is clearly getting involved in the distribution of food.

Venezuela:

Eventually, all the measures the government of Venezuela took to hide the catastrophic collapse from citizens could hold up no longer.

Venezuela is out of food.

After several years of long lines, rationing, and shortages, the socialist country does not have enough food to feed its population, and the opposition government has declared a “nutritional emergency.” This is just the most recent nail in the beleaguered country’s slow, painful economic collapse.

Many people expect an economic collapse to be shocking, instant, and dramatic, but really, it’s far more gradual than that. It looks like empty shelves, long lines, desperate government officials trying to cover their tushes, and hungry people. For the past two years, I’ve been following the situation in Venezuela as each shocking event has unfolded. Americans who feel that our country would be better served by a socialist government would be wise to take note of this timeline of the collapse. (source)

It only took 3 years from the first report (about making “hoarding” illegal) for the once oil-rich country to fall into a ruin so extreme that there wasn’t enough food for everyone.

The United States:

While we are by no means at the point where there is no more food, there are all sorts of warning signs that day could come – and sooner than expected. Many aspects of our system are crumbling, the supply chain is definitely broken, stores are already preparing for the second wave of shortages, and a simulation has predicted a 400% increase in the price of food by 2030.

An important side note

I’m sure it’s merely a coincidence but Venezuelans lost their firearms at around the same time “hoarding” was deemed illegal.

Were you aware that Venezuela banned guns for private citizens a mere four years ago, in 2012? Although the country was already in trouble, it seems like that was the beginning of the end.

Under the reign of Hugo Chavez, the government introduced a law that banned personal purchases of firearms and ammunition in an attempt to “improve security and cut crime”. The law was designed to keep guns in the hands of only police, military, and some security companies.

At the time, Chavez’s government said that “the ultimate aim is to disarm all civilians.” Shortly after the law passed, Chavez lost a battle to cancer, and bus driver Nicolas Maduro became the new president.

Maduro invested $47 million in “disarmament centers” in 2014, where citizens could turn in their firearms without fear of repercussions. This was at about the same time as the government declared that prepping was illegal and those “hoarding” could be detained on criminal charges and when the country instituted a fingerprint registry for purchasing groceries so that they could ensure people only purchased what they were allotted. (source)

Most readers of this website are well aware of concentrated efforts across the United States to undermine the Second Amendment over the past 9 years it has been operating. For more information on these efforts, check out these articles.

How far will we fall in the United States?

This side-by-side comparison is certainly not identical to the crisis in Venezuela, but there are enough similarities that you should be very uncomfortable with our situation. We strongly encourage efforts to become more self-reliant, stocking up on food and other supplies, and frugality in the days ahead.

Those who are prepared may still struggle but they’ll be far better off than those who are completely blindsided by the continued collapse.

A Quick Reminder of How Venezuela RAN OUT of Food: Does This Look Familiar?
Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • You are correct. I remind those who don’t go to stores all the time that there are real supply chain issues. And food prices are going up as well.
    A lot of Rip Van Winkles out there.

    • For me food prices are not going up with the items that I buy. Meat, bread, cheese, milk are all the same price as last year. Same items, same quality.

    • It’s never a mistake to prepare. Some of us refuse to conform to this Marxist idea about “the new normal” when we can see ourselves stripped of our human and social rights. If you can: leave the US asap. Apparently, neither Trump nor Biden have a clear plan or solution that will make things somewhat normal anytime soon.

      • Where? The US is the only place to do many countries in Europe is on high lockdowns ridiculous measures. It’s worldwide

  • So much of this hinges on one being able to look at the situation realistically. I still hear a lot of folks saying that Covid will go away and things will get better after elections on Nov 3rd! Pretty sure that is purely wishful thinking!
    People by and large have already proven that they are not really interested in history (real history) and Venezuela is history.
    It is never a crime to be prepared for hard times and I do not care what the gubmint may have to say about that! There are a lot of people who want something for nothing and if the day comes that someone tries to simply take what I have worked so hard far, they had better be prepared for a fight!
    Overall here in flyby country things seem fairly normal. Of course in the two big cities that MO has, it is a totally different scene. I realize that nothing is “normal.”
    Never stop preparing and always keep eyes and ears open. Stay alert cause we all know that things can and do change in a heartbeat.

  • There are similarities but there are also differences such as it’s state and local governments not the feds clamping down. That’s a huge difference.

    Kalifornia is most often used as an example. Well they ain’t here nor will it be turned into it. A course correction is coming there either for better or worse very soon. It’s unsustainable.

    Folks who don’t know how or are unwilling to process their own meat or grow food are going to die of self inflicted skills wounds. That was their choice. Seen it before overseas. Nothing I can do bout it.

    The group that has no skills in that arena that will survive will do so by force. Seen that too. Desperate folks are dangerous. Even libs have guns and other methods of violence.

    The outlawing guns and supplies is nothing more than control measures of certain parties both here and there. People buy into it because they want to have their toys, live in their HOA McMansions, travel to n fro and spend their money frivolously instead of preparing for hard times. They want to be taken care of or believe (falsely) that they will be taken care of. They will claim “it’s my right”. No it was your choice.

    As stated above in the comments I often hear the virus will disappear after Nov3rd too. It won’t but some of the controls will and some of the people might.

    Now for the hard truth that earns me zero friends:
    For us here reading this I’d like to think all of y’all are preparing but I know better. I’m going to encourage y’all to stop pretending and start preparing. Preparedness is not just reading things, politics, religion and articulations through comments. Get busy.

    • Matt, you’ve nailed it again. Love the bit about “it’s my right. No it was your choice.” and also the “self-inflicted skills wounds.” Really nice turn of phrase, that.

      I’m not sure why it so hard to convince people that being prepared for emergencies is a good thing. Maybe it’s because common sense isn’t so common anymore.

  • Remember if you have to wait in line to vote on November 3rd for 5-6 hours, it sure beats waiting in line for bread 5-6 hours every day.

  • There are some shortages here, but not too bad. The people in the comments above are right about the virus not going away soon. I read that one of the Dr.’s who develops vaccines has said that even after there is a vaccine, that people will need to wear a mask for at least 2 years afterward! Daisy, do you know if in Venezuela ordinary citizens were able to hide their guns or did they go through the houses to take them?

    • Mom, you don’t need to go after folks Guns once they have been outlawed. Just make a public spectacle of anybody using them with a nasty street execution on live TV. Maybe an armored vehicle? Maybe an armed Helicopter? See who the US Media treated that Lawyer Couple for “brandishing” against the Antifa mob that destroyed their gate and chanted they were going to burn them out. Now add a Socialist LAW saying ownership of firearms is illegal.

      We are well onto our path of Venezuela 2.0 American Deep State Surveillance Edition.

      Vote and GET others OUT to Vote, THIS is the most important election in America’s History. Last call for the Ballot box.

      And still prepare to use the cartridge box. Remember its BEANS first (got to eat-and drink), then bullets then Band-Aids.

  • The UK are in much worse shape than the US!
    Remember on that tiny little island there are over 65 Million people – thats like a quarter of the entire US population sardine canned into that tiny space, with Londonistan and Birmingistan being the most overpopulated.

    To make matters worse I just heard a rumour that the EU are going to starve the UK into submission (re Brexit deal) by restricting the flow of food accross the English channel.

    Apparently 40% of UK goods and food (and illegal immigrants too) come accross the channel.
    If the UK decide to put restrictions in place it would make the current “Lockdowns” look like a training exercise.

    This is on top of the UK wide rice, pasta, and toilet roll rationing that was reimposed (by all supermarkets) last week, and has gone under the radar of many people.

    Crazy times, but if you control the food you control the people, apparently.

    Watch the UK carefully with regards to a food and essential item crisis as where they go so will the US.

  • Covid, whether real or not, (I’m not going there) is one thing. The reaction, actually the massive overreaction, to it is what has caused most of the problems we are seeing now. Even the WHO is now saying the lockdowns are counterproductive. Unless we open up the country we will see what Venezuela is experiencing, or maybe worse.
    I hope everyone is prepping to the max. It may not save us, but it could help for a while.

    • You mean that you still do not know that COVID is real? It is not fake. It is not the seasonal flu. It is not the common cold.

  • Judging by the hordes of morbidly obese in every news broadcast, the US has a ways to go. Comparing the results of a pandemic and meat plant employee infections to a Venezualan breakdown is disingenious at best. (Bit of a stretch). As for socialism, the US already has it…just for the rich and when they need bailouts. Regular working people get propaganda.

    Venezuala might have done better if not sanctioned to death by the US fascists who covet their oil.

    We are preppers in our house, with everything a family might need; from guns and tools/shop stores, fuel, food, gardens, greenhouses, whatever. When you live an hour from town in a place of severe weather it is called common sense. But we are also socialists, looking after our friends as neighbours as needed. We also have free medical care, universal. I haven’t had a medical bill for 60+ years, and this is all done at 50% of what the US system charges, with better outcomes. I will be voting at our Provincial election on the 24th. One month campaign, little to no Covid because we wear masks and take care of each other, and I don’t have to worry about some idiot with a handgun at the polling site. You folks need to address reality. Daniel Boone isn’t running for president, just a fat crooked real estate developer looking to scam. Time to quit playing frontier freedom dodgeball and pull together.

    • I’m amazed at how clear your vision is from so far away. Perhaps the US media is not as accurate as you seem to think. I have the same level of preparation and benefits as you and have no concern or interest in minding your business. You take care of your home, I’ll take care of mine and we’ll all get through this together.

    • ….And not to mention that the upper half of the web’s page is reserved or blocked for the web’s menu which could be put on a single line therefore allowing one to use their own FULL PAGE INSTEAD OF ONLY HALF OF IT to be able to read. Makes one feel as if they are on their stomach looking out the material from a hole or crack!!! That is outright pathetic. I don’t need to be here. It would take one 6 hours to read the whole thing instead of mere 30mns.
      So much of “prepping”. she wants people to get stuck here the longest possible.

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