There is a rumor going around that people under socialism faced such severe food shortages that they were forced to break into zoos and eat the animals. Unfortunately, this is a fact. Reports were circulating in Venezuela of people consuming zoo animals around 2016 and 2017. The animals that remained in these zoos starved to death or ate one another. The people were in such dire conditions that they were forced to consume dogs, cats, decaying meat, and anything else they could find.
Hugo Chávez is celebrated as this social justice warrior for eliminating capitalism in the 2000s. Socialism does not work because the system eventually runs out of other people’s money, as Margaret Thatcher once proclaimed. We only need to look at recent history to see the severe consequences of switching to this system. Venezuela first reported that they had a “nutritional emergency” in February 2016. President Nicolás Maduro also declared an “economic emergency” in January of the same year, providing him the power to rule by decree. Inflation was running at 141.5%, according to Venezuelan authorities, but the IMF believed the figure reached 270% in 2015 and had the potential to reach 500% by the end of 2016.
Similar to how central banks and Treasury Secretaries downplay inflation today, the talking heads denied anything was wrong. The socialists claimed that acknowledging the food shortages could lead to American intervention, and Maduro consistently blamed US sanctions for his nation’s failure. As reported by a Spanish newspaper, this is how the average person waiting for their food rations: “Five hours in line to buy a chicken; kicks, pushes, and blows of all kinds to be one of the fortunate ones to enter the supermarket and get away with a bag of flour or rice, basic goods that Venezuela does not have available to everyone, unfortunately.”
Maduro told the people to grow their own food and gloated that he too was producing his own eggs and produce. The government owned the grocers and the food production companies, and stepped in numerous times to shut down any intervention by the private sector. Politicians take no responsibility for the suffering endured under their policies, and this is precisely what a portion of the West is fighting to implement today.