Hunger in Venezuela

  • Venezuela, the country with largest oil reserves in the world has run out of food

    With delivery trucks under constant attack, the nation’s food is now transported under armed guard. Soldiers stand watch over bakeries. The police fire rubber bullets at desperate mobs storming grocery stores, pharmacies and butcher shops. A 4-year-old girl was shot to death as street gangs fought over food.

    Venezuela is convulsing from hunger.

    Hundreds of people here in the city of Cumaná, home to one of the region’s independence heroes, marched on a supermarket in recent days, screaming for food. They forced open a large metal gate and poured inside. They snatched water, flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, potatoes, anything they could find, leaving behind only broken freezers and overturned shelves.

    And they showed that even in a country with the largest oil reserves in the world, it is possible for people to riot because there is not enough food.

    In the last two weeks alone, more than 50 food riots, protests and mass looting have erupted around the country. Scores of businesses have been stripped bare or destroyed. At least five people have been killed.


    A staggering 87 percent of Venezuelans say they do not have money to buy enough food, the most recent assessment of living standards by Simón Bolívar University found.

    About 72 percent of monthly wages are being spent just to buy food, according to the Center for Documentation and Social Analysis, a research group associated with the Venezuelan Teachers Federation.

    In April, it found that a family would need the equivalent of 16 minimum-wage salaries to properly feed itself.

    Ask people in this city when they last ate a meal, and many will respond that it was not today.

    Among them are Leidy Cordova, 37, and her five children — Abran, Deliannys, Eliannys, Milianny and Javier Luis — ages 1 to 11. On Thursday evening, the entire family had not eaten since lunchtime the day before, when Ms. Cordova made a soup by boiling chicken skin and fat that she had found for a cheap price at the butcher.

    “My kids tell me they’re hungry,” Ms. Cordova said as her family looked on. “And all I can say to them is to grin and bear it.”

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  • In a way, Venezuela is 8th wonder of the world. This strange country has a population of 30 million, geographically sitting on the north of South America. It has the largest reserve of fossil oil in addition to being rich in other valuable minerals like coal, iron ore, bauxite and gold. This country’s previous president Hugo Chavez died in 2013 after a rule of 14 years. He was succeeded by his Vice President, Nicolas Maduro who is still in the office. Chavez was famous for his social welfare program by inputting billion of dollars in this program.
    Yet, Venezuela’s people are below poverty bar – so much so, the people don’t have the purchasing power for food. Where does the fault line lie? Some economists attribute it to consistant anti-USA policy. I don’t think so, but am still clueless.

  • There are two major difference from the time of Chavez,

    1. The National Assembly is controlled by opposition, reducing the benefits to poor drastically. Divided government.
    2. The price of oil has fallen greatly.