Venezuela, considered one of the countries with the largest reserves of energy on the planet is suffering the most brutal economic and social crisis in its history as a republic. While much focus goes onto the misery of its people, Venezuelan pets are the forgotten victims in all this, as families abandon their animals out of poverty-stricken desperation.
Bad policies implemented by the Government of the day, coupled with the government corruption under both President Chavez and the current President Nicolas Maduro have plunged the country into the most abject misery. International agencies accuse the government of genocide – a theory that I strongly support. The environment, fauna wild and domestic are also victims of this silent murder.
Venezuela depends directly on the US dollar to sustain its Economy, and yet the government refuses to provide this currency to businesses. Such a policy has provided a black market economy with prohibitively high pricing.
The productive sector has collapsed by the communist doctrine applied in the last two years to deny employers the foreign currency necessary for the acquisition of raw material for the manufacture of staple products, including food, medicine, personal hygiene products, animals food etc.
As a consequence product costs have soared alarmingly. Inflation is now running at around 900 % pa. The Government, rather than sorting fundamental economic issues, devotes its energies to concealing such information, proclaiming that in Venezuela there are no problems in the economic sectors.
We now have the ludicrous situation where the government exchange rate is 35% more than the black market one, yet businesses are prevented from ever accessing US dollars at the official rate.
A Venezuelan to cover their basic needs requires approximately $ 390 per month, excluding medical expenses, school fees and emergency services. Yet the average wage is now a paltry $98 / month ($64 / month at the market rate). Most people in Venezuela now simply don’t earn enough to survive. It leads to all manner of crimes and poverty as people struggle to simply survive.
Forgotten victims in all of this are our domestic animals. People can simply no longer afford to feed their pets. As an example, a 4.4 lb Bag of Dog Chow was $3 in October 2015. Today, less than a year later, it is over $50. Similar increases have occurred in other pet foods. As a result, most people can no longer afford their pets.
Literally thousands of dogs and cats are discarded to the streets to fend for themselves. Skinny and emaciated animals roam the streets and eventually waste away and die. I have rescued 11 of them – and yet it seems worthless when I see more and more abandoned animals on a daily basis.
The situation how now reached a crisis point. People and animals alike live in abject misery, while our government pretends that everything is OK. Our economy is in ruins – exacerbated by corruption and poor government.
People in generations to come will discuss the ruination of Venezuela. Yet my friends and family must experience this ruination first hand every day. It breaks our hearts to see this once wonderful country turning into a cesspit of misery.
(this was written by a friend of mine in Venezuela who wishes to remain anonymous)