WASHINGTON — Venezuelan Roman Catholics now have to ration their wine, further demonstrating why socialism and price controls never worked in the Soviet Union or in other countries since then. Reuters reports that this is embarrassing for the devoutly Catholic population in Venezuela.
A national church official, Jose Antonio Da Conceicao, said, “We’re asking the priests and bishops to ration wine and look for alternatives during this emergency”.
Because of a bad harvest and Venezuela’s strict currency controls, it made it hard for the Catholic’s main supplier of wine to make up for the supply deficiency. Without being able to import other wines with stringent restrictions on foreign currency, rationing is the only option left.
Opposition and business leaders have levied heavy criticism of the Socialist government under Nicolas Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez, including the opposition’s presidential candidate Henrique Capriles narrowly lost the most recent presidential election to Maduro and demanded a recount, which was ignored and denied by the Socialist-run Venezuelan government. Maduro also imprisoned a leading opposition figure after the election, and both his supporters and opposition lawmakers brawled in parliament in April.
International calls for a recount were also ignored. Yet, the current economic doldrums continue.
Rationing of items like toilet paper and other normal items have upset the Venezuelan people, to which Maduro accused businessmen and right-wing opponents of trying to sabotage Venezuela from within.
Even the shortage of wheat flour has hurt the amount of bread that Catholics use for communion. Now, the Catholic Church in Venezuela has authorized other wines to be used for communion, such as Chilean, Argentinian, French or Spanish wines.