The conflagration that is the collapse of a socilaist utopia continues to escalate in Venezuela today. With morgues overflowing, medicines running out, and apocalyptic scenes playing out across the nation, Venezuelans took to the streets of Caracas today - at the behest of the opposition - demanding a recall referendum to end Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's socialist rule. The troubled nations leader was not happy and security forces fired tear gas and shut subway stations to block the thousands of protesters.
Over the last two weeks, several provinces have hosted scenes of looting in pharmacies, shopping malls, supermarkets, and food delivery trucks. In several markets, shouts of “we are hungry!” echoed. On April 27, the Venezuelan Chamber of Food (Cavidea) reported that the country’s food producers only had 15 days left of inventory.
PanamPost adds that lootings are becoming an increasingly common occurrence in Venezuela, as the country’s food shortage resulted in yet another reported incident of violence in a supermarket — this time in the Luvebras Automarket located in the La Florida Province of Caracas.
Venezuelans lost control this week when offered small portions
Videos posted to social media showed desperate people falling over each other trying to get bags of rice. One user claimed the looting occurred because it is difficult to get cereal, and so people “broke down the doors and damaged infrastructure.”
And now, as Reuters reports, in the third opposition rally in a week, several thousand protesters descended on downtown Caracas, witnesses said, planning to march to the national election board's headquarters...
But National Guard soldiers and police cordoned off the square where they planned to meet, so protesters milled instead in nearby streets waving flags and chanting anti-Maduro slogans.
Adultos mayores rompieron cordón policial en la Av.Libertador.pic.twitter.com/qIdiBO5GtW— RCTV.net (@RCTVenlinea) May 18, 2016
Security forces used tear gas to control about 100 protesters in one street, witnesses said.
"They're scared. Venezuelans are tired, hungry," said demonstrator Alfredo Gonzalez, 76, who wore a scarf over his mouth and said he had been sprayed with pepper gas.
An anti-Maduro demonstration Wednesday also turned violent, with troops using tear gas to quell stone-throwing protesters and an officer pepper-spraying opposition leader Henrique Capriles.
Beyond the opposition's formal protest campaign, spontaneous street protests and looting are becoming more common around Venezuela amid worsening food shortages, frequent power and water cuts, and inflation that is the highest in the world.
During the weekend, Maduro declared a 60-day state of emergency, widening his powers to sidestep the legislature, intervene in the economy and control the streets, because of what he called U.S. and domestic plots against him.
Protester Jose Alirio, 48, said he had been a supporter of Chavez but was angry at Maduro. "The bread shops are empty," said Alirio, a bus conductor. "I'm close to robbing. This man has to fix things or he should go."
Haydee Teran, a 48-year-old housewife who had been lining up for hours at the supermarket hoping to buy some scarce essentials, said Guarenas officials ordered that half of the food deliveries heading to shops and markets be instead diverted for local distribution.
"This decree isn't solving anything," Teran told AFP, showing a video of the incident she posted on Twitter.
"What the people want is food. There hasn't been looting, but we are closing the streets to protest," she said.
Authorities also closed subway stations in Caracas on Wednesday in another measure to impede the protesters.
As AFP adds, the head of the Venezuelan Observatory for Social Conflict, Marco Ponce, told AFP that his non-governmental organization had counted 107 instances of looting and attempted looting in the first three months of the year. There have been hundreds of small street protests, he said.
Seventy percent of Venezuelans want a change of government, according to a poll by the firm Datanalisis.
Lopez is among them, but she doesn't want to see current opposition figures take over, remembering some of them as greedy and arrogant when they held the reins before Chavez's rule.
"It's best that others step in to govern -- but not those squalid bastards, not them either," she said.
A man in line yells out sardonically that "the socialist bread is coming," provoking a ripple of comments and grumbles from others in the long bread line.
"They are going to fall! They are going to fall!" residents chant from windows above the bakery.
The crowd is growing despite police action...
imágenes de la maecha esta si es una marcha Maduro el pueblo te dice FUERAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAA#Caracas pic.twitter.com/jKCH9UtLqF— NoticiasSimonBolivar (@NoticiasSB1) May 18, 2016
Av Libertador Caracas 12:30 pm gases lacrimógenos contra manifestantes q arrojan piedras y botellas a PNB pic.twitter.com/GPsgiTkSdf— Ernesto J. Tovar (@ernestojt) May 18, 2016
As we concluded, previously, Social Collapse Is Inevitable
With the economy dead, the only thing remaining is to watch as society implodes. To that end, Oscar Meza, Director of the Documentation Center for Social Analysis (Cendas-FVM), said that measurements of scarcity and inflation in May are going to be the worst to date. “We are officially declaring May as the month that [widespread] hunger began in Venezuela,” he told Web Noticias Venezuela. … “As for March, there was an increase in yearly prices due to inflation — a 582.9 percent increase for food, while the level of scarcity of basic products remains at 41.37 percent."
Meza said the trigger for the crisis is the shortage of bread and other foods derived from wheat.
“Prices are so high that you can’t buy anything, so people don’t buy bread, they don’t buy flour. You get porridge, you see the price of chicken go up and families struggle … lunch is around 1,500 bolivars… People used to take food from home to work, but now you can’t anymore because you don’t have food at home."
The is why, Español Ramón Muchacho, Mayor of Chacao in Caracas, said the streets of the capital of Venezuela are filled with people killing animals for food. "Muchacho reported that in Venezuela, it is a “painful reality” that people “hunt cats, dogs and pigeons” to ease their hunger."
Subsquently, Muchacho warned that Caribbean islands and Colombia may suffer an influx of refugees from Venezuela if food shortages continue in the country.
“As hunger deepens, we could see more Venezuelans fleeing by land or sea to an island,” Muchacho said.
And that is how all socialist utopias always end.
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Meanwhile, as civil war appears inevitable, as previously reported there are factions vying to oust Maduro, although we are confident the dictator will hang on for dear life (literally) and force his population to endure more of this socialist nightmare. One can only hope that these shocking scenes remain relegated to the streets of offshore socialist paradises, although Americans should always prepare for the worst in case they eventually manage to make their way into the country.