With food, medicine and other staples in increasingly short supply, the economy collapsing by 10 percent a year and inflation running at more than 700 percent (and expected to reach 1,500 percent by year’s end), Venezuelans by the hundreds of thousands are now marching in the streets and calling for the recall of President Nicolas Maduro.
Maduro’s response has been to arrest opposition leaders and promise more arrests to come.
According to the Los Angeles Times:
Nothing was going to stop Nelson Rivas from joining the Taking Caracas demonstration on Thursday — not his wheelchair, not the six-mile distance over uneven pavement, not the whiffs of tear gas, not the ominous threats of arrests from President Nicolas Maduro.
“I came to demand that the recall election take place according to the constitution,” said Rivas, 35. “Whatever your point of view, the condition of the country is the worst.”
Near Nelson Rivas, hairdresser Adela Hernandez, 56, said she had reached her limit of tolerance. “Everything is a disaster,” she said. “We’re tired of the insecurity, of scarcities, of inflation. We want a peaceful change, according to the constitution, that’s why we want a recall vote. It’s our right.”
If there was one sentiment that Rivas, Hernandez and other protesters expressed, it was frustration — frustration over having water or electricity service cut off, frustration for hyperinflation that destroys the value of their wages.
In July, Bloomberg’s Venezuela reporter Fabiola Zerpa wrote about her 30-day “Hunt for Food in a Starving Land.” She documented the difficulties she faced keeping her family fed and finding her husband’s cholesterol medication.
It’s a sad and desperate life facing empty store shelves, ever-rising prices on items when you can find them, rising crime, credit card readers that work spottily and long lines. In order to “fix” the long line problem, Maduro’s government simply banned them and began fining stores if their lines were too long.
Desperate Venezuelan mothers living near the borders have begun crossing into other countries to find food for their children. Others are dumpster diving and eating cats, dogs, pigeons and zoo animals.
It’s this sort of collapse that Bob Livingston has been warning his readers to prepare for, and why he continues to urge readers to store food, water, guns and ammunition, and keep cash, gold and silver on hand and secreted in a safe place.
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