Once Latin America’s richest country, Venezuela can no longer feed its people, hobbled by the nationalization of farms as well as price and currency controls. The resulting hunger and malnutrition are an unfolding tragedy.
Widespread famines are very rare in democracies and are much more prevalent in authoritarian regimes. This is because food production is but a small part of a larger picture; the system of food production and distribution in Venezuela has been decimated by the nationalization of private farms. Individual farmers can’t make a profit in the new political economy and consequently are going to stop producing for the market. This vicious cycle is political in nature more so than in is agricultural.