From the Associated Press:

Empty stomachs drive Venezuela soldiers to desert in droves

By Fabiola Sanchez | Friday, May 18, 2018

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — He enlisted in Venezuela’s National Guard to earn a ticket out of poverty. But little more than two years later, his monthly pay is worth only about $2, forcing him to moonlight at a tire shop, and he has put in for a discharge.

“I don’t know what everybody else does to survive,” said Ruben, a 21-year-old sergeant, who fearing retaliation agreed to speak about his situation only if his last name was not revealed. “If I don’t get out of this, I’ll starve to death.”

Not even Venezuela’s once-proud military is immune to the oil-rich country’s deepening economic crisis of food shortages and skyrocketing prices, and while top commanders deny there is any discontent, analysts say thousands of soldiers are asking for honorable discharges or deserting their posts by simply walking away.

Since taking office after the death of Hugo Chavez, his mentor who installed Venezuela’s socialist administration, President Nicolas Maduro has sought to lock in support from the armed forces by pampering troops with outsized bonuses and awarding loyal officers with top government posts.

There’s much more at the original.

We have previously noted that in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, another socialist nation in which the military are the favored group, even North Korean soldiers have been found heavily infected with parasites, while other news sources have reported the chronic undernourishment North Korean soldiers suffer.

And now we see that the military in Venezuela, on which President Maduro is counting to retain power, are also going hungry. Children in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela are dying from malnutrition, as the economy of the nation with the world’s largest petroleum reserves has fallen into shamblesthe economy is expected to contract by double digits for the third straight year in 2018 — and even the all-important oil industry is collapsing, and now we learn that even the soldiers are going underfed.

This is what socialism wreaks upon an economy and a society. This is what the socialists and the ‘Bernie bros‘ want to bring to the United States! Oh, that’s not what they think, of course: to the socialists, their policies will make everybody well-to-do in the Western sense. They’ll all live in upscale urban apartments and have their Starbucks every morning, on the way to their six-hour-a-day well-paying professional jobs, with their beautiful secretaries there, smiling, everyday.

The equality promised by socialists has turned into equal poverty; only a small minority live better than squalor, and that small minority is, of course, the people with guns.

The truth of socialism, as revealed by its history, is that the Bernie bros and their ilk wouldn’t have those upscale urban apartments, but would be sent out in the fields, because that’s where the food is grown, and they’d be needed to work the crops.  If, of course, there actually are enough crops to feed everyone, and they don’t have to start eating their pets, while soldiers steal goats for food. Venezuelan farmers could produce more food, but the insane economic controls under ‘Bolivarian socialism’ has crippled farmers’ ability to produce more food.

Socialism means poverty, and socialism means totalitarian control. Nowhere has it been tried with any different results. The República Bolivariana is simply the latest to fail once socialism has been imposed by force tried, but it won’t be the last.
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Cross-posted on The First Street Journal.