Pink Flamingos on the Menu in Venezuela
The national economy is not the only casualty of Venezuela’s failure to meet its repayment commitments to China and Russia. Now the pink flamingoes are dying too.
With the decline of the Soviet Union, Venezuela entered into loan agreements that left it owing billions of dollars to these two super-powers. The country committed to repay the debt in the form of cheap oil.
Unfortunately, production hasn’t been going well. Venezuela is behind in its payments to the tune of several million barrels and oil production is at a twenty-three-year low. Some shipments have now been delayed by almost a year. The Chinese aren’t happy. The Russians aren’t happy.
The Maduro government is scrambling.
For the people of Venezuela, this means going hungry. They’re on the ‘Maduro diet’, which has forced them to eat anything that moves. It is the culmination of two years of crippling inflation and desperate food shortages.
Which brings us to the flamingos.
Last November, a biology student came across the butchered remains of a small flock whose breasts had been ripped from their bodies. The remaining legs and feathers were strewn across the Las Peonias Lagoon in Wester Venezuela in a heart-breaking display of human desperation.
Flamingoes have never been a staple in the Venezuelan diet. In fact, it is illegal to kill specimens of this endangered species. The fact that they are ending up on the dinner table is a testament to how quickly the food shortages in Venezuela have reached crisis proportions.
The savagery doesn’t stop at flamingos. Garbage workers report finding the skinned or plucked carcasses of dogs, cats, horses, donkeys and pigeons. Even Giant Anteaters. The city dump is becoming festooned with the bones of animals that have not traditionally been killed for human consumption.
Many of these ‘non-traditional’ food sources are found for sale in the local markets, with cat carcasses hanging from metal hooks in tidy rows. In a desperate battle for survival, the humans have the upper hand.
One can only hope that the Maduro government finds a way to meet its financial commitments before the pink flamingo is hunted to extinction.
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