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Flour Shortages Hit Venezuelan Churches as Priests Are Left without the Host for the Eucharist

By: Karina Martín - Mar 21, 2017, 10:42 pm
(mendozapost)
Venezuelan Catholic churches are left without the Host for the Eucharist due to socialist meddling in the economy. (mendozapost)

Food shortages in Venezuela have reached Catholic churches. The lack of supply of wheat flour has been even affected the preparation of the Host, the bread consecrated in the Eucharist.

Through social media, the Catholic organization Siervas de Jesús (Jesus’ Servants) requested aid and flour donations to be able to maintain the Eucharistic ceremony in different Venezuelan churches.

In an interview for PanAm Post, a representative of the organization, who preferred to remain anonymous, explained how this shortage of flour affects several parishes in Venezuela. The Siervas de Jesús Congregation is in charge of preparing the Host not only for Caracas temples, but also for different parishes in the rest of Venezuela. However, the sister we interviewed stated that they have not been able to continue with the production of the communion bread because of the shortage.

“We cannot get wheat flour. When we needed the flour before, we went to bakeries that already knew us and they sent us the quantities we needed,” said the sister.

 

However, she explained that since “the crisis is so big, not even do they [the bakers] have any [flour]”. For the congregation, the problem of the production of communion bread began “since the crisis has intensified here [Venezuela], with the scarcity of everything.” They have had problems getting flour for around two years “but this year has been the worst because we have nothing,” she added.

Last week we could not dispatch a single Host, we ran out completely. But some parishes have tried to get packages [of flour]… If we do not get the flour, we can not do anything because it’s impossible for us to seek outside, it would because of the price. If no generous soul helps us here, we […] regret it greatly because if we leave the food of the body… Without communion bread there is no Communion.

The sister said that the shortage of flour is due to the lack of flour production in Venezuela.

hostias
Imagen que circula en redes pidiendo donar harina a las Hermanas Siervas de Jesús

In order to produce anything, Venezuelan businesses depend on government imports of raw materials. The government controls products that enter and leave Venezuela.

Victor Maldonado, executive director ejecutivo of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services in Caracas, explained that flour shortages are due to the monopoly of imports of all edible goods.

According to Maldonado, the Maduro government stopped importing wheat flour, which is not produced in Venezuela.

 

 

“The government monopolized the imports of all foodstuffs and everything that the government monopolizes ends up being a trap of inefficiency and corruption. The consumer must pay the price but even so companies collapse,” he said.

Omar González Moreno, a congressman of the National Assembly (AN) for the state of Anzoategui, has also spoken out about the shortage of wheat flour, and has expressed concern about the consequences this brings to the Venezuelan Catholic community.

“Under this government, we won’t even be able to take communion because Maduro intends to finish off the Host. Scarcity and misery is the ultimate end of all the government’s actions. This is why, as citizens, we have to remain active fighting to achieve national liberation, “he said.

González Moreno said that, in order to have “an honest economy”, investment should be allowed and promoted, as well as the “respect of private property.” He made a call for “everyone to work with freedom of action.”

The shortage of wheat flour has affected several businesses in Venezuela, especially bakeries, which are now being audited by the government.

Bakeries in Venezuela must not only face price control, exchange rates and the government’s monopoly of imported raw material. Now they are also required to produce continuously even as raw materials are regulated and the government verifies the legality of all products’ ingredients.

A new government measure specifies that 90% of the wheat flour should be destined to the production of salted breads with regulated prices. However, Maldonado explained that bread for daily consumption is regulated at a price below the costs of production.

Karina Martín Karina Martín

Karina Martín is a Venezuelan reporter with the PanAm Post based in Valencia. She holds a bachelor's degree in Modern Languages from the Arturo Michelena University.

Trump Russia Investigation Likely to be a Big Disappointment for American Left

By: David Unsworth - @LatinAmerUpdate - Mar 21, 2017, 6:32 pm
Democrats may be falsely getting their hopes up, in wake of the recent announcement of an FBI investigation (

Anti-Trump hysteria is at its apex. It is nearly comical to watch the mainstream establishment reveling in their glee at the prospects of uncovering the supposed devious machinations of the Trump campaign as they "colluded" with Russia to influence the outcome of the election. The mainstream Republicans, Democrats, academics, journalists, activists, and business leaders who are licking their lips at the prospect of extremely damaging revelations for the administration, or even Trump's potential ouster, are almost certain to be disappointed. As the New York Times itself notes, "counterintelligence investigations...rarely lead to criminal charges." Yet, they certainly take a long time to conduct, and the legion of Trump haters can rejoice in that, as they most likely get their hopes up for the emergence of a "smoking gun" that will never appear. Read More: The Hypocrisy of the American Left's New "Red Scare" Read More: US vs. Russia: Trump the Pragmatist vs. Clinton the Warmonger If, hypothetically, the Trump administration was implicated in charges of "collusion" in election meddling or even "treason" what exactly would such a criminal case entail? As many observers from across the political spectrum have noted, most notably Ron Paul, it is beyond the pale of hypocrisy for the United States to sanctimoniously complain about foreign meddling in elections, when our government has meddled in dozens of foreign elections for decades, if not centuries. We have even gone to the extent of deposing leaders such as Panama's Manuel Noriega, and at least indirectly participating in the overthrow of Chile's Salvador Allende. What the American Left seems to have failed to draw from Comey's statements is that, "American officials have said that they have so far found no proof of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia." Furthermore, they have concluded that "there was no evidence that Russian hackers had changed any votes in the election." Indeed during the Jill Stein Green Party-funded recount efforts in Michigan, we found that, if anything, it was Clinton who had been the beneficiary of electoral shenanigans. So, what then, are we discussing here? Thus far the so-called "meddling in the election" has centered on two themes: the hacking and publication of a trove of DNC and Clinton insider emails, and election coverage at the Russia state-owned RT news channel. If there is a "smoking gun" to be found, it lies within the realm of email hacks. Finding that smoking gun, however, seems extremely unlikely. Would someone in the Trump campaign be both devious and stupid enough to leave a trail of written or verbal communication ordering the Russian government and/or hackers to commence a massive campaign to steal emails from Clinton and the DNC? Possible...but highly improbable. Up to this point the so-called evidence presented against the Trump campaign has been based upon assigning nefarious motives to any contact or meetings between the two entities. Well, Clinton and top Democrats have had numerous meetings with the Russian government in recent times. That does not imply that they were coordinating with the Reds to boost their electoral prospects. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); The American Left has little appreciation for irony, which is unfortunate for them, but hilarious for the rest of us. For the duration of the Cold War, it was the American Left, and its allies in the media, academia, and the Democratic Party, who sought to deepen the influence of Soviet Communism in American life. In the 1984 elections, in fact, there is evidence that Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy asked the Soviet Union to intervene to help defeat Ronald Reagan. When Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union the Evil Empire, he was widely mocked. The American Left perceived Reagan as militant and dangerous, a radical conservative whose senseless policies and provocative tone could bring the United States to the brink of a third world war against Communism. And after all, the Soviet Union really wasn't so bad, right? People in the Warsaw Bloc didn't really mind Soviet domination, right? And it would be very unfair to assume that Communism was responsible for the massive economic deprivation and lack of civil liberties widespread in the region. To the American Left from the 1950s to the 1980s peaceful coexistence was the overarching goal. These same political forces, however, seem willfully ignorant of Hillary Clinton's enthusiasm for fueling a dangerous military buildup along the Eastern Europe/Russia border, at a time when the world faces far greater threats than Russian aggression. Russia's expropriation of Crimea was, after all, undertaken following a democratic election, in a region where popular support for the Russian government was widespread, and where the vast vast majority of Crimeans were of Russian origin and spoke the Russian language. It seems rather far-fetched to imagine Putin scheming in the coming decade to invade and conquer non-Russian lands (the Baltics, Finland, Poland, Norway) devoid of Russian language, culture, or ethnicity. Finally, regarding the charge that the RT news channel was instrumental in swaying the election, one word comes to mind: laughable. A recent Ipsos study revealed that RT's weekly viewership in the United States is around 8 million. That is respectable, but pales in comparison to the influence of Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, not to mention print media and online media. The idea that a news channel viewed by 2.5% of the American population would be capable of "swinging" the election with its "biased" pro-Trump coverage, is beyond preposterous. Furthermore, for the American Left to propose that Russia is involved in influencing our election because their reporters have a "bias" is laughable. If we are going to judge RT on those grounds, then we better pass a new law stating that every American news organization must be objective...from NPR to Fox News, from Mother Jones to National Review. In Israel's 2013 elections, Obama openly supported the Israeli opposition, sending aids and taxpayer funds in a bid to oust current president Benjamin Netanyahu. It doesn't appear that the mainstream media ever made much of that. Regarding Trump's counterclaims of Obama wiretapping his campaign, the mainstream media also seems to have conveniently forgotten that the Obama administration used the IRS to target political opponents, and used the CIA to widely wiretap foreign leaders such as German chancellor Angela Merkel, French president Nicolas Sarkozy, as well as international bodies such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and the European Union. This was all revealed by wikileaks. Call me crazy. But it would almost appear that the mainstream media is making mountains out of molehills when it comes to Trump, and sweeping any Obama indiscretions under the rug.

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