Tuesday 28 September 2021

Banging on empty pots, Venezuelans protest food shortages

Paying the bills

Latest

Panama will vaccinate tourists

Q24N - Non-immunized tourists visiting Panama will receive the...

End of 2021 would be the beginning of a “good” high season in tourism

QCOSTARICA - The end of 2021 would mark the...

Costa Rica 4th Latin American country best prepared to develop high-impact ventures

QCOSTARICA - Costa Rica is the fourth best ecosystem...

CCSS applied 195,598 first doses of vaccine against covid-19 during the Vaccination

QCOSTARICA - The vaccination teams of the Caja Costarricense...

Can tourists get vaccinated in Costa Rica?

QCOSTARICA - Can tourists be vaccinated in Costa Rica,...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction September 28: Plates ending in “3 & 4” CANNOT circulate

QCOSTARICA - For today, Tuesday, September 28, vehicles with...

Mexico reveals why it rejects tourists from Costa Rica

QCOSTARICA - Mexico has been one of the favorite...
Paying the bills

Share

A demonstrator holds a pot as he attends the ‘march of the empty pots’ against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas, Venezuela, June 3, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

TODAY VENEZUELA, CARACAS (Reuters) – Banging empty pots and brandishing signs saying “only the government is growing fatter,” Venezuelan activists in Caracas on Saturday protested food shortages in the crisis-stricken country.

The march by a few hundred people, quickly halted by security officials firing tear gas, built on two months of near-daily demonstrations against leftist President Nicolas Maduro, who critics say has plunged oil-rich Venezuela into its worst economic crisis in history.

Protesters are demanding early presidential elections, freedom for jailed activists, and humanitarian aid to allow in scarce medicines and food.

- Advertisement -

Currency controls that crimp imports, as well as ailing local farms, have left many supermarket shelves empty.

Around 93 percent of Venezuelans cannot afford to buy enough food and 73 percent of them have lost weight in the last year, according to a recent study by three universities.

Children begging in front of bakeries, restaurants, or markets are now a common sight, while more and more people are salvaging food from the trash. Many in the middle class have had to cut back on meat or vegetables and instead get by on cheaper starches.

“Sometimes I only eat once or twice a day. Today I couldn’t find bread (for breakfast) at any bakery, and I came here because I can’t just stay home watching this country fall to pieces,” said Consuelo, a 60-year-old protester banging two spoons together at the march in western Caracas.

Traditionally a poorer, pro-government area, parts of western Caracas are now home to road barricades, graffiti reading “Maduro dictator!” and clashes between hooded youth and National Guards.

“It’s time for Nicolas Maduro to listen to the people and finally leave,” said Consuelo, adding that she prays every day for an end to the crisis.

Demonstrator reacts against riot security forces during the ‘march of the empty pots’ against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas, Venezuela, June 3, 2017. (REUTERS/Marco Bello)

DEATH TOLL HITS 64

- Advertisement -

But Maduro, a former bus driver and union leader elected in 2013 to replace the late Hugo Chavez, says he is not going anywhere.

He accuses street protesters of leading an “armed insurrection” designed to bring down socialism and allow big business to get its hands on Venezuela’s crude oil reserves, the world’s largest.

At least 64 people have been killed since the unrest began in early April, with the state prosecutor’s office on Saturday confirming another death.

Yoiner Pena, 28, died in the western state of Lara after being shot from a pickup truck near a protest in April, the office said in a statement.

- Advertisement -

In what he says is an attempt to bring “peace” to Venezuela, Maduro is creating a new super-body, known as a constituent assembly, to rewrite the national charter.

His opponents and even some dissenting voices from within the government have slammed the plan, however. The chief state prosecutor has said that creating the assembly without a plebiscite, as happened in 1999 when Chavez rewrote the constitution, threatened to “eliminate” democracy in Venezuela.

The opposition is depicting this round of protests as a last-ditch effort to stop Maduro from building a “Cuban-style” one-party system in Venezuela and avoid a full-fledged meltdown.

Opposition supporters holding pots and a sign reading: ‘no more hungry’ attend the ‘march of the empty pots’ against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas Thomson Reuters

For many Venezuelans, daily life already revolves around trying to find food.

“Once a week I get up at 5 a.m. and I line up for six hours to buy the basic food basket,” said protester Solange Rey, 53.

Venezuelans are only allowed to buy staples once a week, based on the number on their identity cards.

“The rest of the week, I go from market to market looking for the best price,” added Rey, who used to make lunches for companies but had to stop because she could no longer find the products.

Article by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Jonathan Oatis.

Article originally appeared on Today Venezuela and is republished here with permission.

- Advertisement -
Paying the bills
Q24N
Q24N is an aggregator of news for Latin America. Reports from Mexico to the tip of Chile and Caribbean are sourced for our readers to find all their Latin America news in one place.

Related Articles

Covid-19 deaths skyrocket throughout September in Nicaragua

TODAY NICARAGUA – In the past week, a total of 329...

The Ortega-Murillo Regime’s Cycle of Vengeance and Reprisals

TODAY NICARAGUA  – The Ortega regime has established a de facto...

Subscribe to our stories

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

Article originally appeared on Today Venezuela and is republished here with permission.

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.