Saturday, July 30, 2016

Venezuelan President Maduro’s New Decree: Forced Farm Labor

Here at Li, we’ve been covering the failure of socialism unfolding in Venezuela. Toilet paper, sugar, and food shortages have resulted in violence and thus far unsuccessful attempts to oust President Nicolas Maduro. With the country’s citizens tired, hungry, and angry, Maduro has landed on a “solution” that would make Pol Pot proud: forced labor.

CNN reports:
In a vaguely-worded decree, Venezuelan officials indicated that public and private sector employees could be forced to work in the country’s fields for at least 60-day periods, which may be extended “if circumstances merit.”

. . . . President Nicolas Maduro is using his executive powers to declare a state of economic emergency. By using a decree, he can legally circumvent Venezuela’s opposition-led National Assembly — the Congress — which is staunchly against all of Maduro’s actions.

According to the decree from July 22, workers would still be paid their normal salary by the government and they can’t be fired from their actual job.

It is a potent sign of tough conditions in Venezuela, which is grappling with the lack of basic food items like milk, eggs and bread. People wait hours in lines outsides supermarkets to buy groceries and often only see empty shelves.
As a means of fixing Venezuela’s many and diverse problems that have resulted in the current shortages, this move is, according to Amnesty International, “like putting a band aid on a broken leg.”