Food lines in Venezuela stretch long and far.

Food lines in Venezuela stretch long and far.

Nicolas Maduro, the socialist president of Venezuela, has put the nation’s supply of food, medicine and household goods into the hands of the military to decide who gets what, and who gets nothing.

The Great Mission of Sovereign Supplying, as the initiative’s called, even appoints members of the military to oversee the nation’s ports, in order to monitor donations of food and medical supplies from overseas’ sources, Breitbart reported.

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Gen. Vladimir Padrino Lopez, the minister of Defense, is in charge of the program.

And as BBC reported: The “great mission [is to] establish how purchases and distribution of food, medicine and household goods are made,” a move that includes oversight of the country’s five largest ports and regulation of the all the nation’s food processing plants.

The action comes as Venezuela is facing dwindling supplies of food and medical supplies – and as a reaction to what he claims is an “economic war” other countries, including the United States, have been waging against his government. His logic: Any war, economic or otherwise, is still a war and therefore requires the response of the military, Breitbart reported.

Citizens have expressed concern that members of the military will limit distribution of necessary food and medical items to those who oppose the country’s socialist policies. But Padrino Lopez said not to worry – that the military will only be “disciplining” the distribution of items, not “militarizing” the process, Breibart said.

Meanwhile, Wilmar Castro Soteldo, the minister of Productive Agriculture, expressed support for the new mission as well.

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“The country is in an abnormal situation,” he said. “[The military] will be able to tend to agriculture production problems focused on the current war.”

The new program replaces the local Supply and Production Committees system that allowed local chapters of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela to control food distribution. And that program was widely panned by citizens, who claimed CLAP officials gave plenty to those they favored and little to those they did not. As Breitbart reported, socialist CLAP officials also encouraged those who were hungry to become more active in party activities in exchange for more food.

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