In the U.S., only five percent of adults participate in the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity a day, but in Venezuela, a severe food and medicine shortage is giving citizens a lot more to worry about health-wise.
In order to respond to the increasing severity of the crisis, the Venezuelan government has proceeded with an initiative launched a few months ago: the Great Mission of Sovereign Supply, which is headed by the Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino.
The General has announced the appointment of 18 military generals and admirals who will be charged with overseeing the production and distribution of 18 categories of food that have been deemed basic staples of the economy.
The staples include: rice, food, oil, sugar, coffee, beans, corn, corn wheat, dairy, butter, wheat, soy, cattle, fish products, porcine, poultry, toilet paper and diapers, personal hygiene products, and medicines.
The initiative was created by Maduro in June to promote food production, and to ensure the smooth distribution of supplies, a necessary step as five people have been killed in confrontations with security forces during food riots already.
Many experts are shocked that the food crisis is being handled by the military.
“Military personnel in Venezuela don’t receive any kind of economic or agricultural courses during their training,” remarked Luis Alberto Butto, a professor of history specializing in military affairs at Simon Bolivar University.
“Padrino and [President Nicolas] Maduro don’t have a clue about what has to be done to solve the problems Venezuela is facing,” said economist Francisco Faraco.
According to Faraco, much of the current crisis is a result of controls and regulations imposed by Hugo Chavez a decade ago. Maduro has tightened these regulations during his tenure.
The National Army is taking a big risk by holding so much power during this economic crisis — 53% of the population already disapproves of them.
“The failure could be costly for the military,” Faraco said. “Maduro put a time bomb in the hands of Padrino, a bomb that could end up killing the image of that institution.”