Venezuela Drifts Into New Territory: Hunger, Blackouts and Government Shutdown

Source: New York Times | May 28, 2016 | Nicholas Casey and Patricia Torres

CARACAS, Venezuela — The courts? Closed most days. The bureau to start a business? Same thing. The public defender’s office? That’s been converted into a food bank for government employees.

Step by step, Venezuela has been shutting down.

This country has long been accustomed to painful shortages, even of basic foods. But Venezuela keeps drifting further into uncharted territory.

In recent weeks, the government has taken what may be one of the most desperate measures ever by a country to save electricity: A shutdown of many of its offices for all but two half-days each week.

But that is only the start of the country’s woes. Electricity and water are being rationed, and huge areas of the country have spent months with little of either.

Many people cannot make international calls from their phones because of a dispute between the government and phone companies over currency regulations and rates.

Coca-Cola Femsa, the Mexican company that bottles Coke in the country, has even said it was halting production of sugary soft drinks because it was running out of sugar.

Last week, protests turned violent in parts of the country where demonstrators demanded empty supermarkets be resupplied. And on Friday, the government said it would continue its truncated workweek for an additional 15 days.


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  • Consistent #6546

    Victoria #6549

    My SO (significant other) is an earth scientist/geologist and has gone all over the world finding oil and that includes Venezuela. He was amazed Venezuela is in such a dire situation. He said the country has so many resources and land to grow food and fruits, it’s hard to believe they have no food.

    I told him the government had taken the farms from the people who had them and now no food is being grown. The country was thriving those years back when he was there locating their oil. It did affect him now to think that country is in such a terrible state.

    People have to be dying now from lack of water and food and lack of sanitation and other disease- if they don’t die from lack of water and food, they will die due to disease from polluted water and communicable diseases with no medicine to cure them. I did read that hospitals are out of medicine.

    That country is for sure dying. Millions are going to die. What is the answer to fix this? I think it is so far gone, it can’t be saved. After millions die, and the government is gone, the remnant left will have to start planting IF they can get food seeds. Perhaps another country, like ours, can take seeds there. This is like going back to the cave men days when they started growing food.

    slhancock1948 #6550

    Do you think any of the democrats can even connect the dots? Even in the republican party, the movement is towards leftism or statism. Fails everywhere, but according to Hillary in 1992, it has not been done right yet.

    Pray for righteousness to be restored and for the peace of Jerusalem

    EVERYDAY #6551

    Many years ago, a cruise took me to Aruba. At a produce stand in Orange stand (the capital), I was told that because Aruba is a desert, it imports fruit and vegetables from Venezuela. Didn’t realize at the time that Venezuela was so close to Aruba (around 90 miles I think). At the time, Venezuela was exporting even more than oil. Its economy was robust.

    This is what happens when government meddles in private business. Under an incompetent government, Venezuela’s economy is swirling the bowl. And in the US, there are Democrats and more than a few Republicans who think business problems will be solved by MORE GOVERNMENT.

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