Venezuela urges eating of rab­bits

Warwick Daily News - - NEWS | WORLD -

VENEZUELA’S gov­ern­ment has launched a scheme en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to breed rab­bits and eat them as a way of coun­ter­ing fre­quently chronic food short­ages and grow­ing child mal­nu­tri­tion.

The gov­ern­ment of Ni­co­las Maduro – who has been ac­cused of mov­ing to­wards a dic­ta­tor­ship – says the so-called Rab­bit Plan will help boost food avail­abil­ity.

Mr Maduro’s ad­ver­saries dis­missed the idea as non­sen­si­cal, Reuters re­ported, in­sist­ing the real prob­lem was a failed model of oil-fi­nanced so­cial­ism that was un­able to sur­vive after crude mar­kets col­lapsed.

Mr Maduro said US sanc­tions on him and more than 20 of his of­fi­cials had ex­ac­er­bated the cri­sis.

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion also re­cently banned US banks from buy­ing newly is­sued bonds from Venezuela’s gov­ern­ment and the state-run oil com­pany, PDVSA.

“There is a cul­tural prob­lem be­cause we have been taught that rab­bits are cute pets,” Ur­ban Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Freddy Ber­nal said dur­ing a broad­cast with Mr Maduro this week, Reuters re­ported.

“A rab­bit is not a pet – it’s two-and-a-half ki­los of meat that is high in pro­tein, with no choles­terol.”

Mr Maduro’s crit­ics mocked the idea.

“Are you se­ri­ous,” asked Hen­rique Capriles, a state gov­er­nor and two-time op­po­si­tion pres­i­den­tial can­di­date. “You want peo­ple to start rais­ing rab­bits to solve the prob­lem of hunger in our coun­try?” – INM

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