Tuesday 22 June 2021

Banging on empty pots, Venezuelans protest food shortages

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.

- Advertisement -

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)


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 -

We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

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

Ortega government accuses imprisoned opponents of receiving money from the United States to overthrow him

TODAY NICARAGUA – The Nicaraguan government assures that the imprisoned political...

Nicaragua government assures that detainees violated one of the Ten Commandments

TODAY NICARAGUA – The vice president of Nicaragua and First Lady,...


Carlos Alvarado: “Don Rodolfo has my confidence”

QCOSTARICA - President Carlos Alvarado said he has all the confidence in his Minister of Public Works and Transport (MOPT, Rodolfo Méndez Mata, and...

American woman found lifeless in hotel bathroom in Sabana

QCOSTARICA - A sad discovery occurred this Thursday morning in a hotel located in La Sabana, in San José, the lifeless body of a...

Week immersed in passage of tropical wave, June Solstice and Veranillo

QCOSTARICA - Today, Monday, June 21, is the day of the year when the sun stays the longest on the horizon, therefore it is...

Full court decides not to investigate or dismiss Emilia Navas

QCOSTARICA - Emilia Navas will not be removed from her position as attorney general, after calls for her to step down due to her...

The Best Sports To Play On A Beach

Costa Rica has some of the best beaches in the world. The coastline is blessed with golden sand, beautiful palm trees, and perfect blue...

Heavy downpours generated the first phreatic eruption of this year at the Turrialba volcano

QCOSTARICA - Several residents of La Pastora, La Central and Monte Calas, in the vicinity of the Turrialba volcano, heard a loud rumbling early...

College of Physicians negotiates donation of a million and a half vaccines against covid-19

QCOSTARICA - This week there could be very good news for the country in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic if the College of...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction June 21: plates ending in 1 & 2 CANNOT circulate

Today, Monday, June 21, we are back to the two plates that cannot circulate, in today's case plates ending in 1 & 2 CANNOT...

Since 2018 MECO has received contracts from the State for more than ¢139 billion

QCOSTARICA - Almost ¢140 billion colones (US$227 million dollars) is the amount the MECO construction company was able to snare for public works contracts...


Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

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.