Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Verse 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Venezuela Puts Food Under Military Protection
Shoppers thronged grocery stores (one such store is pictured above) across Caracas on 9 January as deepening shortages led the government to put Venezuela’s food distribution under
Long lines, some stretching for blocks, formed outside grocery stores in
the South American country’s capital as residents search for scarce basic items
such as detergent and chicken.
“I’ve visited six stores already today looking for detergent -- I can’t
find it anywhere,” said Lisbeth Elsa, a 27-year-old janitor, waiting in line
outside a supermarket in eastern Caracas. “We’re wearing our dirty clothes
again because we can’t find it. At this point I’ll buy whatever I can find.”
A dearth of foreign currency exacerbated by collapsingoil priceshas led to shortages of imports from
toilet paper tocar
batteries, and helped push annual inflation to 64 percent in
November. The lines will persist as long as price controls remain in place, Luis
Vicente Leon, director of Caracas-based polling firm Datanalisis, said today in
a telephone interview.
Government officials met with representatives from supermarket chains
today to guarantee supplies, state news agency AVN reported. Interior Minister
Carmen Melendez said yesterday that security forces would be sent to food
stores and distribution centers to protect shoppers.
“Don’t fall into desperation -- we have the capacity and products for
everyone, with calmness and patience. The stores are full,” she said on state
President Nicolas Maduro last week vowed to implement an economic
“counter-offensive” to steer the country out of recession, including an
overhaul of the foreign exchange system. He has yet to provide details. While
the main government-controlled exchange sets a rate of 6.3 bolivars perU.S.
dollar, the black market rate is as much as 187 per dollar.
Inside a Plan Suarez grocery store yesterday in eastern Caracas, shelves
were mostly bare. Customers struggled and fought for items at times, with many
trying to skip lines. The most sought-after products included detergent, with
customers waiting in line for two to three hours to buy a maximum of two bags.
A security guard asked that photos of empty shelves not be taken.
Police inside a Luvebras supermarket in eastern Caracas intervened to
help staff distribute toilet paper and other products.
“You can’t find anything, I’ve spent 15 days looking for diapers,” Jean
Paul Mate, a meat vendor, said outside the Luvebras store. “You have to take
off work to look for products. I go to at least five stores a day.”
Venezuelan online news outlet VIVOplay posted a video of government food
security regulator Carlos Osorio being interrupted by throngs of shoppers
searching for products as he broadcast on state television from a Bicentenario
government-run supermarket in central Caracas.
“What we’re seeing is worse than usual, it’s not only a seasonal
problem,” Datanalisis’s Leon said. “Companies are not sure how they will
restock their inventories or find merchandise, with a looming fear of a
The price for Venezuela’s oil, which accounts for more than 95 percent
of the country’s exports, has plunged by more than half from last year’s peak
in June to $47 a barrel this month.
“This is the worst it has ever been -- I’ve seen lines thousands of
people long,” Greisly Jarpe, a 42-year-old data analyst, said as she waited for
dish soap in eastern Caracas. “People are so desperate they’re sleeping in the