Maria del Carmen is 6 years old and weighs 6 kilograms — just over 13 pounds. In her home, eating is no longer routine. Her family is hungry, and it shows.
The last time the girl was put on a scale was in December. Her relatives say she weighed 10 kilos in November but then dropped to six and suffers from severe malnutrition.
The entire family is suffering:
The house where the girl lives — in a suburb of Maracaibo, Venezuela's second largest city — has three rooms. Twenty-one people live there — 11 children and teenagers and 10 adults.
The tin roof has holes so big that the place floods when it rains. There's a 14-inch TV set that doesn't work all that well, and no fans or refrigerator — real problems because temperatures can hit more than 100 degrees.
It's not just Maria del Carmen who is hungry. The rest of the family eats only every other day, and then only one meal that day.
This isn't something new. This wasn't unpredictable. The worst example in history:
Mr Dikötter, who has been studying Chinese rural history from 1958 to 1962, when the nation was facing a famine, compared the systematic torture, brutality, starvation and killing of Chinese peasants to the Second World War in its magnitude. At least 45 million people were worked, starved or beaten to death in China over these four years; the worldwide death toll of the Second World War was 55 million.
Roughly 40 million people in China starved to death because of pure socialist policies. These socialist or communist societies wanted to match and then surpass capitalist systems. They couldn't even fulfill the basic task of producing sufficient food.
It doesn't matter when it's tried. It doesn't matter where it's implemented. Socialism taken to its logical end results in the starvation and destruction of people. The innocent children of Venezuela are paying the price for this corrupt ideology.