Children in socialist Venezuela are fainting in school from the lack of food

Yuxi Caruto, 17, feeds her daughter with watered cornmeal during lunch. Ms Caruto is a single mother who is also caring for a neighbor’s children, after she left to find a job in the city. – Photo: Adriana Loureiro Fernandez for The New York Times.

Thanks to Cuba’s Castro dictatorship, Venezuela continues to experience real socialism.

Via The New York Times:

Students Fainting From Hunger in Venezuela’s Failing School System

Hundreds of children filed into their school courtyard to hear a local Catholic bishop lead prayers for their education.

“We pray for the youths who are on the streets and can’t come to school,” said Bishop Jorge Quintero, addressing the Augusto D’Aubeterre Lyceum school in the beach town of Boca de Uchire on a steamy morning in October. “There are a lot of them.”

By the end of the 15-minute ceremony, five children had fainted and two of them were whisked away in an ambulance.

The faintings at the primary school have become a regular occurrence because so many students come to class without eating breakfast, or dinner the night before. In other schools, children want to know if there is any food before they decide whether to go at all.

“You can’t educate skeletal and hungry people,” said Maira Marín, a teacher and union leader in Boca de Uchire.

Venezuela’s devastating six-year economic crisis is hollowing out the school system — once the pride of the oil-rich nation and, for decades, an engine that made the country one of the most upwardly mobile in the region. These schools in the past provided children even in remote areas with a solid shot at the country’s best universities, which in turn opened doors to top American schools and a place among Venezuela’s elite.

Hunger is just one of the many problems chipping away at them now. Millions of Venezuelans have fled the country in recent years, depleting the ranks of students and teachers alike. Many of the educators who remain have been driven from the profession, their wages made nearly worthless by years of relentless hyperinflation. In some places, barely 100 students show up at schools that once taught thousands.

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