Alexis Paparoni, deputy of the National Assembly for the state of Merida, denounced this Thursday that the agri-food sector of the country is in a situation of emergency and precariousness due to the lack of gasoline to transport the products to population centers. He warned that, as a consequence, the population will be left without food and this could cause a social explosion.
He recalled that in 1999 the country’s agri-food sector produced 80% of the food consumed by Venezuelans. “Last year it barely produced 19%, and for this year everything indicates that it could reach only 13% with a tendency to decrease due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the lack of gasoline,” he said.
Paparoni stressed that this episode of the Coronavirus makes the whole process of food distribution from producers to the people even more complex, because added to all the problems and restrictions that are already known, “now we have to add the shortage of fuel, taken advantage of by mafias under the control of the usurper regime,” the parliamentarian revealed.
“What do we think now when we remember the images of the rotten food containers with which many members of the regime became millionaires? Where did PDVAL and Mercal go? Where are the expropriated companies that were put to “produce” by the former government? (The effect of ) Corruption is not only the one who gets rich, is the one who stops eating, the one who stops receiving medical care, that has to be brought into the equation. The corrupt in this country have taken more lives than the Coronavirus can take. Denying the entry of quarantined food aid is a crime,” Paparoni said.
He also denounced that some mafias have installed themselves in the gas stations that resell gasoline for 2 or 3 dollars a liter.
“This is very serious because this is the worst crisis the sector has faced in recent years. Now the impact of the world economy is going to hurt us enormously. The lack of supplies and the lack of fuel will prevent food from reaching the centers of consumption,” he insisted.
The parliamentarian said that the crisis in the agri-food sector and the difficulties in importing essential goods as a result of the pandemic make humanitarian food aid necessary.
He revealed that millions of families are at risk of being left without any kind of income due to the quarantine and the impacts that the Coronavirus has had on the world economy.
“Those people without income will go out to look for it anyway, and it will generate a double problem: sanitary, because the need will prevail over precaution and public order in the face of the impossibility of access to basic goods. In this situation it is a need to receive food aid, denying it is criminal”.
He insisted that the president in charge of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, represents a legitimate government recognized by the world, capable of coordinating actions, aid, plans and mechanisms to overcome this situation.
“The great obstacle is the great blockade that has been generated by a group that continues to usurp power. They are the great impediment the country has, both to overcome this temporary crisis of the COVID-19, and the structural crisis that is evident in the collapse of the country, its production, services, income and quality of life of the Venezuelans,” he said.
Finally, he called for the unity of Venezuelans to not only fight the Covid-19, but to continue fighting for the change of this usurper government to rescue the country from this “disgrace called Maduro and its dictatorship.”