By Bob Norton

A Reuters article details the struggle Venezuelan families face as the social fabric frays and inflation soars. In fact, the situation is so bad that some parents are giving their children away. “With average wages less than the equivalent of $50 a month at black market rates, three local councils and four national welfare groups all confirmed an increase in parents handing children over to the state, charities or friends and family,” the article notes.

The fact is that food is a weapon of war and can be a real cause of social disruption and national instability when governments fail their citizens. Starvation is close at hand in Venezuela as affordable food supplies dramatically diminish and the black market proliferates. If left unabated, the human tragedy will increase, and social collapse is inevitable. This will likely exacerbate an already growing refugee problem.

We have seen collapsing nation states halfway across the world—in the Middle East, for example—become incubators for terrorism, and the specter of a failed state much closer to our border is a frightening prospect. Food companies that source ingredients from South America will need to pay close attention to the situation.

Behind starvation, disease follows as an inevitable consequence, and the disease could quickly spread to other nations in the region. The leftist government seems unwilling and unable to stem the tide of social collapse. Corruption runs rampant, and violence appears likely to be inevitable as people become more desperate. The U.S. can do little to fix this problem, given its history with Venezuela, while the United Nations appears unprepared to deal with the magnitude of a collapsing nation state.  READ MORE