Freddy Bernal, a high-ranking member of the ruling PSUV party and the man in charge of the CLAP subsidized food distribution program, spoke today on the merits of rabbit meat as part of the Maduro regime’s latest response to the ongoing shortages of food in the country.

On September 13, Maduro suggested that the increasing number of Venezuelans going hungry due to chronic food shortages need not suffer much longer if the rabbit could be properly used. Maduro has called the initiative El Plan Conejo [“The Rabbit Plan”], and it would involve Venezuelans breeding the creatures at industrial levels.

Pointing out that rabbit meat “has protein and no cholesterol”, Bernal said today that the animals are “not pets, but rather 2 kilograms of meat”.When Plan Conejo was originally announced on September 13, Bernal also addressed the probable aversion that Venezuelans would have to eating an animal most of them are likely to view as a cute pet, saying:

There’s a cultural problem.. They’ve taught that the rabbit is a really cute pet. There’s no doubt that the rabbit is a beautiful animal. This is true. But the rabbit could be a solution.

Today, Bernal attempted to make a critical argument in favour of the Plan Conejo, saying:

The poor have a right to eat exquisite meat.

Venezuela is currently experiencing the worst food shortages in its modern history. Precipitated by the collapse of oil prices in 2014, the food scarcity crisis is largely the result of the fact that Venezuela does not produce enough food to feed itself and must rely overwhelming on imports to accomplish the task.

In response to the food crisis, the Maduro regime has turned to increasingly desperate initiatives. Among them is the CLAP distribution system, headed by Bernal, which was launched by the regime last year. The system is allegedly set up to deliver plastic bags full of basic foodstuffs like corn flour and cooking oil directly to communities. The CLAP system has been panned as corrupt and, even under the best conditions, wholly unable to help Venezuelans meet their dietary needs.

Regional Election Campaign Underway

The electoral campaign for the October 15 gubernatorial elections got underway yesterday, as the ruling PSUV party and opposition bloc Mesa de la Unidad Democratica (MUD) held rallies for their supporters around the country.

At a PSUV rally in Anzoategui state, the candidate for the governorship there–Aristobulo Isturiz–told supporters that the party had a responsibility to win every single of Venezuela’s 23 states in order to defeat the enemies of the revolution. Isturiz said:

It is key for the revolution to conquer each one of the governorship, because that would mean the definitive defeat of the fascist right wing.

The PSUV often refers to its political opponents in the MUD as fascists. The PSUV currently controls 20 out of 23 governorships.

The MUD candidate for Tachira state, Laidy Gomez, described a grim picture of the current state of affairs for supporters at a rally. Gomez said:

For us, life is priority. In Tachira, the children of this land are dying because there are no medicines. Our youth are leaving. The distress felt by our productive, economic and security apparatuses is also cause for anxiety.

The gubernatorial elections should have happened last year, but were postponed by the regime without explanation in October of last year. At the time, the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) promised that the elections would take place before the middle of this year, a promise that was evidently not kept. The postponement means that all of the country’s governors are currently serving beyond term limits set out in the national constitution.

October 15 should also see Venezuelans voting for their mayors and state assembly representatives, but those votes have been postponed until some time next year.

Maduro Visits Cuba in Overnight Flight

Maduro made a surprise trip to Cuba yesterday, allegedly for the purposes of personally delivering humanitarian aid to the island nation following a deadly start to the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. Cuba was particularly hard hit by hurricane Irma on September 8. The massive storm is estimated to have caused 10 deaths and at least $2.2 billion worth of damage on the island.

Reuters reports that Maduro arrived in Cuba during the overnight hours on Saturday. Maduro heralded the arrival of a Venezuelan navy ship that was carrying “containers with mattresses and other equipment”.

Speaking to reporters in Cuba, Maduro spoke on the role of climate change in this year’s active hurricane season, saying:

Climate change has increased the temperature of the Atlantic, the Caribbean sea, and this has made this hurricane season nefarious, painful.

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