Though Gloria Arroyo has every reason to invent stories to divert attention from her scandals, it seems that the rice shortage is not one of them. No other than Kevin Cleaver of the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development claimed that there is actually a global crisis on food production.
Further research informed me that as early as August of last year, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez warned that the United States’ penchant for biofuel production will cause food shortage. Almost no one, even after the International Food Policy Research Institute issued the same warning, believed Chavez. Some even went to the point of maliciously accusing Chavez of just protecting Venezuela’s petroleum industry.
Too bad that Condoleeza Rice and the United States propaganda machinery managed to sugarcoat this economic maneuver with environmentalist blabber (or should I call it greenwashing?). Now, food riots are happening from Bolivia to Egypt, from Cameroon to Uzbekistan.
Haiti, one of the four countries (together with Dominican Republic, St. Kitts and El Salvador) that were lured to the American “environmentalist” candy during last year’s Organization of American States General Assembly, just suffered four casualties a week ago when food rioters clashed with their police.
Recently, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown awakened from his sleep as he alarmed G8 Chair and Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda on the effect of biofuel demand to food production. Too late the hero.
The next time the United States government advocates anything, let us not forget to listen to the other side.