The Venezuelan regime’s Minister of Agriculture suggested using corn on the cob to fight back against any invasion of the country on Tuesday, the latest in a series of bizarre threats against the United States and other regional allies.
Addressing an audience of socialist supporters in a live television broadcast dubbed the “Launch of the Communal Production Plan,” Minister of Agriculture Col. Wilmar Castro Soteldo said that cobs could be used to sabotage enemy machinery such as tanks and planes.
“What’s our weapon for battle? Productivity,” he declared. “If there’s an enemy coming to attack you, you grab a bunch of cobs after using it, stick them inside the wheels of the tanks, and I assure you that tank won’t go any further.”
“Or you can throw it into the turbine of a plane, and that plane won’t fly,” he continued. “That means corn can be used for battle, too. And ultimately, you can throw it at the head or the eye of anybody, and you leave him squinting for a while so he doesn’t harm you.”
Soteldo’s comments are made all the more extraordinary given Venezuela’s chronic lack of production across its industries, including agriculture. As noted by the Washington Post, the country’s agricultural production has been slumping for years as a result of government price controls and the expropriation of once highly productive farms. According to Carlos Albornoz, head of the national dairy and livestock association, domestic farms can only meet about 20 percent of the country’s food needs.
“Will we one day return to being a serious country?” wrote Venezuelan writer Leonardo Padrón on Twitter, sharing the video. “This is what one minister suggested.”
¿Algún día volveremos a ser un país serio?.
— Leonardo Padrón (@Leonardo_Padron) May 28, 2019
The bizarre remarks are typical of high-ranking regime officials, who regularly warn that the country may soon be subject to a U.S. military invasion. Last December, socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro warned that U.S. troops “will not make it out alive” if they were to invade Venezuelan territory.
“You must be ready to go to the heart of the enemy who dares touch Venezuelan soil – to go to the heart of the enemy and to tear out his heart in his own territory,” he declared, warning that an “imperialist force” may soon seek to overthrow his socialist regime.
However, reports of Maduro’s private discussions paint a different picture. This month, former National Guard official Germán Varela claimed that Maduro was living in “constant fear” of a U.S. invasion of Venezuela aimed at removing his regime from power, a possibility that the Trump administration has repeatedly refused to rule out.
“He feels nervous, as he is paranoid that at any moment a special operation could enter that could take him and automatically remove him from power,” he explained. “[In the event of a military invasion], soldiers would leave the barracks because they do not want to face and do not have the operational readiness to confront any foreign force.”