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Venezuela Implements ‘Forced Labor’

A new decree by Venezuela’s government could make its citizens work on farms to tackle the country’s severe food shortages.

That “effectively amounts to forced labor,” according to Amnesty International, which derided the decree as “unlawful.”

In a vaguely-worded decree, Venezuelan officials indicated that public and private sector employees could be forced to work in the country’s fields for at least 60-day periods, which may be extended “if circumstances merit.”

“Trying to tackle Venezuela’s severe food shortages by forcing people to work the fields is like trying to fix a broken leg with a band aid,” Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas’ Director at Amnesty International, said in a statement.

President Nicolas Maduro is using his executive powers to declare a state of economic emergency. By using a decree, he can legally circumvent Venezuela’s opposition-led National Assembly — the Congress — which is staunchly against all of Maduro’s actions.

According to the decree from July 22, workers would still be paid their normal salary by the government and they can’t be fired from their actual job.

hIt is a potent sign of tough conditions in Venezuela, which is grappling with the lack of basic food items like milk, eggs and bread. People wait hours in lines outsides supermarkets to buy groceries and often only see empty shelves.

Venezuela once had a robust agricultural sector. But under its socialist regime, which began with Hugo Chavez in 1999, the oil-rich country started importing more food and invested less in agriculture. Nearly all of Venezuela’s revenue from exports comes from oil.

With oil prices down to about $41 a barrel from over $100 about two years ago, Venezuela has quickly run out of cash and can’t pay for its imports of food, toilet paper and other necessities. Neglected farms are now being asked to pick up the slack.

Maduro’s actions are very similar to a strategy the communist Cuban government used in the 1960s when it sought to recover sugar production after it declined sharply following the U.S. embargo on Cuban goods. It forced Cubans to work on sugar farms to cultivate the island’s key commodity.

It’s important to note that Maduro has issued decrees before and they often just languish. In January, his government published a decree that put in place mechanisms to restrict the access and movements to the money in the accounts. In other words, a kind of bank freeze. However, that hasn’t happened yet.

The National Assembly is expected to discuss the decree on Tuesday. But it would largely be symbolic: under Venezuelan law, the Assembly can’t strike down a decree.

This latest action by Maduro may also be a sign that at least one other leader may be calling the shots on this issue. Earlier in July, Maduro appointed one of the country’s defense ministers, Vladimir Padrino, as the leader of a team that would control the country’s food supply and distribution.

Related: Venezuela’s health care crisis

It’s powerful role, especially at a time of such scarcity in Venezuela.

“The power handed to Padrino in this program is extraordinary, in our view, and may signal that President Maduro is trying to increase support from the military amid a deepening social and economic crisis,” Sebastian Rondeau, an economist at Bank of America, wrote in a research note.

Venezuela is the world’s worst economy, according to the IMF. It’s expected to shrink 10% this year and inflation is projected to rise over 700%. Beyond food shortages, hospitals are low on supplies, causing many patients to go untreated and some to die.

The country’s electoral authorities are still reviewing the petition, which Maduro strongly opposes.


36 Comments on "Venezuela Implements ‘Forced Labor’"

  1. onlooker on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 10:59 am 

    Venezuela and its demise is due to various reasons. One and I must concede that State run industry is not efficient or effective especially considering the Capitalistic globalized environment this type of Economic system must act within. Second, Oil revenue flow and its decrease certainly hurt Venezuela also. If you use import revenues to purchases goodies which make life easier but undercut domestic production, you are using your own import revenues to destroy your own country, but the people in the short term, are quite happy. This has been true, forever.

    If you use import revenues to build infrastructure, things like waste treatment plants, highways, rail corridors, port facilities; the rabble feel little benefit from their country’s supposed wealth, and thus get angry, which especially problematic in communist systems. So its not like Chavez had an easy choice; even though the right choice is known.. However, finally I must cite this from an article that illustrates how interference from outside namely the US also certainly seems to have played a role, consider the following ways in which Imperial US and allied forces try and subvert and weaken governments they are not in favor of. I may add that the international capitalist regime also can put pressure on a particular govt. via lending practices and economic ostracism. Obviously since Chavez, Venezuela and the US were enemies.
    “Conversely when attempting to weaken or overthrow a nationalist-populist regime, the empire will resort to multiple forms of attack including: [5] (1) corruption (buying off government supporters), (2) funding and organizing opposition media, parties, business and trade union organizations, (3) organizing and backing disloyal military officials to violently overthrow the elected government, (4) supporting employers’ lockouts to paralyze strategic sectors of the economy (oil),(5) financing referendums and other ‘legal mechanisms’ to revoke democratic mandates, (6) promoting paramilitary groups to destabilize civil society, sow public insecurity and undermine agrarian reforms, (7) financing electoral parties and non-governmental organizations to compete in and delegitimize elections, (8) engaging diplomatic warfare and efforts to prejudice regional relations and (9) establishing military bases in neighboring countries, as a platform for future joint military invasions.”

  2. JuanP on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 11:52 am 

    Amnesty International is an American puppet organization and has absolutely no credibility left. Forced labor will become increasingly common throughout the world as the collapse continues and accelerates. Get ready for it!

  3. JuanP on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 11:59 am 

    CNN is an American puppet propaganda organization and never had any credibility so it has none to lose. The USA has been doing everything in its power to destroy Venezuela since Chavez kicked the American oligarchs and their minions from power. The job is almost complete. The USA will never get Venezuela’s oil back, though. Venezuela’s collapse is irreversible, and part of the beginning of the end of the American Empire. Go Trump! Anyone but Hillary!

  4. JuanP on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 12:05 pm 

    The IMF is an American puppet and never had any credibility, but I guess some fools believe in them. The world is full of fools and that is why humanity is hopeless. If you believe in these motherfuckers then go forth and multiply! I had a Vasectomy and no children because I stopped believing in motherfuckers’ lies when I was in kindergarten.

  5. JuanP on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 12:11 pm 

    I didn’t read this crap. I have no time for crap like this. Just seeing Amnesty International and the acronyms IMF and CNN is enough for me to know that this piece is nothing more than bullshit American propaganda. I don’t read bullshit American propaganda. By all means, read this crap if you want to be brainwashed, believe in lies, and live in denial. I prefer the truth, which is never to be found on CNN. Sellect all, copy, and submit!

  6. Anonymous on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 2:20 pm 

    Exactly Juan. This whole ‘forced’ labor thing is just the latest uS media op from the corrupt amerikan terror state. While I would not suggest things are ‘fine’ down there, I pay little attention to stories about people eating cats and dogs, having no TP, or being chained-ganged to work in field that the uS media is pimping. The uS-saudi led global ‘oil war’ is no doubt hurting those people. Venuzuala simply does not have the resoruces that Iran, Russia, or China has to resist US macro-economic warfare. Not that things have been exactly easy for any of the stronger nations under uS attack either.

    AI, IRC and other such groups routinely provided cover and support for amerio-zionist ‘humanitarian’ interventions around the world. They often downplay, or ignore the role of uS\zionists in creating the conflicts they often involve themselves in.

    I consider groups like AI, Red Cross, and the jew controlled so-called ‘Human Rights Watch’, as ‘Embedded NGO’s. That is to say, an integral part of the advancing uS imperialism, under the guise of ‘benign humanitarianism’. It could well be that groups like AI and IRC, may? have had some measure of neutrality in their earliest days, but I have seen little evidence of it in recent decades.

  7. Boat on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 3:09 pm 

    Mechanized farming with soil analysis is very efficient. Farming is a science based business. Call Monsanto for higher yields with less energy and pesticide use.

  8. onlooker on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 3:20 pm 

    Well said Juan and Anonymous.

  9. JuanP on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 3:56 pm 

    Boat, what the fuck do you know about farming or growing food? Fuck you, Boat, and fuck your precious Monsanto, too!

    Meanwhile, I am on my way to the community garden where I will spend more than three hours this afternoon doing my part to make the world AND THE USA a better place to live in by doing volunteer manual labor growing organic food and also teaching others how to do it. I try to make a positive difference in the lives of those around me every single day. I may bitch and moan daily about the US government and the atrocities it commits at home and abroad, but I help all the Americans I know live better lives.

    What did you do today to make your country and the world better, Boat? NOTHING! Believing that Monsanto is part of the solution is ignorant and stupid!

  10. onlooker on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 4:11 pm
    Glyphosate (Roundup) Linked to Cancer of the Lymph Tissue in New Study
    cancer anyone?

  11. Davy on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 4:39 pm 

    Onlooker, I agree with you roundup is not a friendly chemical like they want us to believe it is. Yet, for your part you do realize as far as industrial agricultural goes roundup is less bad than most of the alternatives. You can not farm broad acre farms without herbicide. If you are going to do it than do it right or the whole effort is a waste. Industrial agriculture feeds the world.

    We should and must initiate as much small farming with lower amounts of industrial agriculture we can and quickly. Those that can in those situations that work should go permaculture and organic. We need a foundation to build upon once industrial agriculture is gone. It will leave us quickly in many areas because it is barely profitable now. We must go back to the land the old fashioned way but in he mean time we need roundup. That is unless we agree to a die off. I find dying difficult to find a consensus with.

  12. Boat on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 5:06 pm 

    Juan you’re just a blithering idiot. Your biggerty finger pointing is an example of the worst of the human species. Wishing evil on others is something you might expect from a 17 year old with extremely bad or no parenting skills. There are those like you in every generation but as humans evolve, your type are taken out through natural selection.

  13. Chris on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 6:37 pm 

    If I lived in a country where there was no food I would be waiting around for the government to force me to farm I would be planting food every park, farm and patch of grass I could find. People should want to leave their crap desk jobs and farm some food especially since their starving. Heck it might even start your country on the path to agricultural exports again.. Turn problems into profit, don’t wait for Maduro to fix things..

  14. onlooker on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 6:50 pm 

    Your right Davy . At this point in most areas of human concern we are being forced to chose between bad and worse choices. I defer to your expert judgement on food growing. Your general point about needing to continue to utilize modern industrial AG to feed our huge world population is true yet voluntarily or not the system is reaching its terminal phase

  15. JuanP on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 7:29 pm 

    Boat, Your illiterate comment is impossible to comprehend. Would you mnd writing it again in proper English so I can understand it. Maybe you should use a dictionary while you are at it. I just got back from volunteering three hours to help make the USA and the world a better place. What have you been up to, fucking retard?

  16. JuanP on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 7:57 pm 

    I can’t believe what a bunch of dumb mother fuckers most of you retards are. Monsanto and roundup and stupid ideas from boat and Davy are the most fucked yo shit I’ve ever heard and read. After reading from retarded commenters like that I need to puke and shit. I hope the hordes of starving citizens put your balls in a vice that is bolted to a work bench, give you a kitchen knife and then light the bench on fire. Mmmmmm roasted balls cooked in a vice!

  17. Boat on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 7:59 pm 

    There is nothing wrong with roundup! I use it as a condiment on my fries and it makes a great anal douche.

  18. Davy on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 8:01 pm 

    I’ll suck the roundup douche out of your ass and feed it to my boyfriend in a French kiss. There’s nothing wrong with roundup. It’s a great lube for jerkin to porn.

  19. Boat on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 8:32 pm 

    Boat on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 7:59 pm

    There is nothing wrong with roundup! I use it as a condiment on my fries and it makes a great anal douche.

    That comment came from a childish mind, fitting the profile of JaunP. As far as roundup goes, I don’t use it myself. A Mexican crew will do the yard in 3 man hours for $40. Money well spent.

    Your sexual preferences are your choice. Why do feel the need to share it with the world?

  20. Boat on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 8:51 pm 

    JuanP on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 7:57 pm

    Monsanto has been improving soybean and corn yields for decades. Many people around the world would starve without their and other gmo innovation. Try reading sometime. No farmer is forced to use it. No customer is forced to buy it. PS Europe just okyed gmo soybeans. Like I said, you don’t live in realty.

  21. Davy on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 8:54 pm 

    Onlooker, you are also right by making the point that roundup is unsafe. We see it everywhere and it is accepted as a safe chemical but it isn’t.

  22. Apneaman on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 9:09 pm 

    Boat is that Mexican crew illegals?

  23. JuanP on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 9:52 pm 

    Davy, The comment above posted at 7:57 pm was not written by me. I think the multiple personality retard is now resorting to posting comments using my name. Do I need any further proof that he can’t win a discussion by posting logical arguments?

    Boat, your calling me infantile and immature and then resorting to this level of stupidity is astounding and your insulting yourself to try and fool me doesn’t fool me for a second. You are unbelievably stupid, fucktard!

  24. JuanP on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 10:06 pm 

    Boat, You need professional psychiatric evaluation. Please go see a psychiatrist. If you are not willing to do it for yourself then do it for your loved ones.

    Posting comments under one name and then replying to yourself using a different name is symptomatic of a serious mental illness. The right meds might allow you to function like a normal human, which is not much but is much better than where you are now. Please don’t hurt any innocent people and seek help ASAP!

  25. JuanP on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 10:10 pm 

    Davy, Your 8:01 pm comment above doesn’t sound like you. Is he doing the same thing to you and logging in with your name, too? I think his multiple personality disorder is ruling the roost! LOL!

  26. JuanP on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 10:17 pm 

    Boat, You also seem to suffer from some serious sexual perversions and obsessions. Why do you always have to resort to that degree of sexual depravity? It makes you sound completely insane! LOL! You are your own worst enemy!

  27. Boat on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 10:32 pm 


    We don’t e-verify. The boss speaks English, the crew doesn’t talk. lol

  28. DMyers on Sun, 31st Jul 2016 12:11 am 

    I say, let’s lol on our way down to Venezuela where we’ll get butt fucked by whomever feels like it. Bend over and lol.

    Viva Hugo Chavez!

  29. LpointMpoint on Sun, 31st Jul 2016 11:08 am 

    How many times do we have to learn that exact same lesson. Socialism does not work. Incentives matter. For those of you who missed the last thousand examples, here it is for you again. By the way, the apologist’s arguments are always the same as well. It was due to a capitalist conspiracy or whatever nonsense is being attempted isn’t ‘real socialism’.

  30. John Orr on Mon, 1st Aug 2016 2:20 pm 

    I don’t know the in’s and out’s of farming but I know for f’n sure a farmer who had lovely green grass last year has fields full of weeds now….that you could grow f all in…..unbelievable how wild nature takes over….same when driving, weeds everywhere either side of the road and for 6 meters to the farm then all of a sudden perfect green fields…
    So what is the farming answer… grass fed beef great as after all or is skinny weed fed beef best or do you just eat weeds????….interested to know

  31. PracticalMaina on Wed, 3rd Aug 2016 10:09 am 

    Proper grazing techniques should keep the weeds down…

    No one else saw this article? I guess glycophosphate is no real match for mother nature, so now illegal herbicides are also being used on round up ready shit crops, this second pesticide is toxic to non gmo soy. So yeah no one is forcing you to buy their crops, but your neighbors who have kind of force your hand by poisoning your shit.

  32. PracticalMaina on Wed, 3rd Aug 2016 10:10 am 

    Boat you must be so important having poor immigrants put poison on your lawn for you, you’ve made it bud.

  33. JuanP on Wed, 3rd Aug 2016 11:24 am 

    John, Green Deane would probably tell you to eat the weeds. I have been following his advice for years. You can learn more from the most popular forager in the world at

  34. Davy on Wed, 3rd Aug 2016 12:22 pm 

    Nothing wrong with weeds. Like Juan said many are edible. I have multiple books on edible weeds. Many influenced by what Native Americans used. Weeds often have deep roots that pull nutrients up. This also makes many species drought tolerant. If you have a grazing system like I do with goats and cattle weeds are beneficial in the mix. I keep the weeds and grass in balance and the balance I seek is not letting any one species dominate. I want a polyculture of weeds, brush, and grasses. Climate change is going to render monocultures obsolete IMO. Many of my prettiest wildflowers are considered weeds. Many are introduced and several are invasive but I am learning to adapt and manage what is here. I have about 20 books on weeds and grasses. A good definition of a weed is a misplaced plant so make it so that misplaced plant has a place. The reality is we humans are weeds so we should be kind to our brothers.

  35. John Orr on Wed, 3rd Aug 2016 7:05 pm 

    Thanks guys for the info…interesting takes

  36. Shaved Monkey on Thu, 4th Aug 2016 10:22 pm 

    If inflation is running at 700% why would you worry about a job that paid money that couldn’t buy you food ,I would go and grow food without needing to be asked.
    Food is currency.

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