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Venezuela Wants To End Its Food Shortage With Forced Labor

REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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The Venezuelan military declared it can hire anyone as a peasant farmer and keep them on as long as it like, according to Amnesty International.

It’s is now perfectly legal for the military to ask the average Venezuelan to serve in government-funded agricultural initiatives for 60 days at a time, according to a Venezuelan decree published at the end of July. The UK-based NGO goes on to note in a withering July 28 statement, that the 60-day contracts are “automatically renewed for an extra 60-day period or they will be allowed to go back to their original jobs.”

This Stalin-esque decree is likely the result of the South American country going broke under the rule of socialist President Nicolas Maduro, who has run his country’s economy into the ground.

Venezuela is currently enduring historic hyperinflation, which will hit over 700 percent by the end of 2016, according to Director of the Western Hemisphere Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Alejandro Werner. The IMF executive also wrote in July, that the Venezuelan economy is set to shrink to the tune of 10 percent in 2016.

Food shortages are a major problem for Venezuela, with some people taking extreme measures, such as digging through trash for food. The critical situation was described by Amnesty International’s Americas Director Erika Guevara-Rosas as, “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.”

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