Once considered the wealthiest country in Latin America, Venezuela has become a socialist hellhole where girls as young as 14 are selling their bodies in exchange for a few bucks a "service" and heterosexual men are prostituting themselves out on the gay sex market. These desperate souls are trying to escape the economic policies advocated here in United States by the Left's increasingly mainstream Bernie Sanders/Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wing.
A Fox News report from journalist Hollie McKay exposed the socialism-induced horror show on the trail from Venezuela to neighboring Colombia. "Thousands upon thousands of Venezuelans pour into Colombia over the crowd cross-country bridge, their faces gaunt, carrying little more than a backpack. Rail-thin women cradle their tiny babies, and beg along the trash-strewn gutters. Teens hawk everything from cigarettes to sweets and water for small change," McKay reports.
Malnourished girls and women are selling anything they can, including their bodies, breast milk, and hair, to survive, reports McKay. Females as young as 14 are receiving a reported seven dollars on average "per service"; a woman's hair might be sold in exchange for a measly $10-30.
And as desperate Venezuelans hand over their papers and identification to "pimp types," sex trafficking has become the norm. Men are selling themselves, too: straight men, some being trafficked, are performing gay sex acts in exchange for money. McKay reports:
Both men and women are exposed to sex trafficking along the route from Venezuela to Colombia. According to several walkers, some women “chose” prostitution as a means to make money and earn rides along the way. And some heterosexual men “sell themselves on the gay market” for a little money.
Other women are manipulated or forced into giving “pimp types” their documents and identification cards, and are subsequently drawn into prostitution rings. That's particularly the case in border areas, where many rebel and drug-trafficking groups operate.
"Due to the brutal economic situation in Venezuela," explained The Exodus Road Chief of Staff Amy Roth, Venezuelans "come to Colombia looking for a job, or at least for shelter and basic care. But they usually end up selling candles or coffee at traffic lights. Where they also become vulnerable to being recruited, to become victims of human trafficking."
Last year, The Daily Beast reported that starving Venezuelans had resorted to killing pets and zoo animals for food while dictator Nicolas Maduro and his fellow chubby elites maintained access to everything they need. "One morning in August at the metropolitan zoo in the torrid city of Maracaibo, workers were shocked to find the bones of a buffalo and some wild pigs inside their cages with clear signs of mutilation. Thieves allegedly stole the meat to eat what they could and sell the rest on the local market," said the report.
Back in Venezuela, suicide is up, particularly with children and teens, health care is basically nonexistent since an estimated 55% of the nation's medical professionals have fled the country, and at least 70% of the population are estimated to be suffering from acute malnutrition and starvation.
Suffice it to say, the reality of Venezuela is a far cry from the romanticized socialist utopia being sold here by liberal professors and echoed by far-left politicians.