In Venezuela, where socialism reigns, life has been reduced to a perpetual breadline. As the economy continues to plummet, the situation in Venezuela has reached a point that has far exceeded desperation.
Between government-mandated rolling blackouts and a lack of essential supplies, many Venezuelans have stopped working altogether. Instead, they spend their days waiting in line for food and medicine. For those who are able to obtain scarce supplies, which is pretty much everything these days, it is more beneficial to sell or trade those items on the black market than it is to work for a living.
These lines are not just one small aspect of life for those in Venezuela; these lines are their life now. Children do their schoolwork, an infant takes her first steps, and a 21 year old gives birth, all while waiting in line for food and supplies they may never see.
In another line, starving Venezuelans are told that the truck carrying supplies, which they have been waiting for since the early morning hours, has been diverted to another town. For many, this means another day with empty bellies.
For criminals, these government lines have become a breeding ground for crime where citizens are like sitting ducks waiting to be preyed on.
Over the past year, dozens of deaths have occurred while waiting in lines. As Junior Perez waited in line for his allotted allowance of two tubes of toothpaste, he was approached by an armed robber who demanded he hand over his smartphone.
Instead of complying he chose to run, one of the few choices he had left in his life. He was instantly met with eight bullets that struck and killed him. As he laid there dying, his killer searching his body for valuables, the rest of the line appeared to be unaffected by the scene that just occurred in front of their eyes. To have come forward and helped Perez or to have gone to look for a doctor would have meant losing their place in line, a risk no one can afford to take.
“These days you have to put the line above everything, you make sure you get what you need, and you don’t feel sorry for anyone,” one pharmacist says.
Venezuela has become the posterchild of caution when it comes to socialism. As many Millennials continue to champion an ideology they clearly don’t understand, Venezuela continues to fall further into economic ruin, showing the world what happens when the government is allowed to control almost every aspect of life.