The president in crisis-hit Venezuela suffering from massive food shortages has encouraged women to have half a dozen kids, telling a room of pregnant mums “God blesses you for giving six little boys and girls to the homeland”.
The controversial socialist leader was taking part in a meeting with members of the National Plan of Humanised Births and Breastfeeding in the Venezuelan capital Caracas accompanied by dozens of women, many of them pregnant.
One mum-to-be asked the president how many children she should have and Maduro answered: “God blesses you for giving six little boys and girls to the homeland.”
He added: “Let’s have all of you [women] giving birth. Every woman should have six children so our homeland grows.”
During the meeting, he also said: “We should turn the national plan of humanised birth into a mission. It should be taught in primary and secondary schools.”
Maduro, 57, also called for a stop to gender violence, telling the audience: “I call on everyone to respect women, to love women, mothers, grandmothers, daughters, girlfriends, wives. Women should not even be touched by a rose petal, absolute respect for all women. No to gender violence, stop the violence.”
The director of the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict said the economic crisis and problems surrounding hyperinflation in the South American country is so serious that there are currently high levels of malnourishment among children which will also impact future generations.
In July 2019, UN Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHRC) Michelle Bachelet said that Venezuela is suffering from a shortage of contraceptives.
Reports also said that the country is also experiencing a shortage of medicines and that health conditions in hospitals are very low.
Nicolas Maduro is the President of Venezuela, although this has been contested by Juan Guaido since 2019. Guaido has been recognised as the acting president of the country by Europe and the USA, while Russia and China recognise Maduro.
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