Maduro calls for Venezuela ‘rab­bit plan’

The Phnom Penh Post - - WORLD -

VENEZUELA’S crip­pling eco­nomic cri­sis means that eat­ing meat is a lux­ury for many, but the Maduro gov­ern­ment be­lieves it has the an­swer with a plan to breed and con­sume rab­bits.

“For an­i­mal pro­tein, which is such an im­por­tant is­sue, a ‘rab­bit plan’ has been ap­proved be­cause rab­bits also breed like rab­bits,” President Ni­co­las Maduro joked on state tele­vi­sion, in­tro­duc­ing the idea as a cheaper al­ter­na­tive to other sources of meat.

The president said the plan was part of his gov­ern­ment’s of­fen­sive in the “eco­nomic war”, his term for Venezuela’s wors­en­ing cri­sis, amid short­ages of food and medicine.

A sur­vey pub­lished ear­lier this year showed nearly 75 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion lost an av­er­age of 8.7 ki­los in weight due to lack of proper nutri­tion be­cause of the cri­sis.

Maduro said he had en­trusted the pro­ject to the head of a gov­ern­ment food pro­gramme, Freddy Ber­nal.

Ber­nal said Venezue­lans would have to get over their love of rab­bits for the plan to work.

He said peo­ple needed to un­der­stand “that the rab­bit is not a pet, but two and a half ki­los of meat with high pro­tein and no choles­terol put on the ta­ble of Venezue­lans.”

Ber­nal told the same TV pro­gramme he re­cently de­liv­ered the first batches of rab­bit pups to poor neigh­bour­hoods but he says peo­ple sim­ply be­came fond of the an­i­mals and “grabbed them as pets”.

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