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Desperate Venezuelans Turn to Mines, Find Malaria

Disease makes a resurgence in dire times

(Newser) - More than a half-century ago, the World Health Organization recognized Venezuela as the first nation to wipe out malaria in its populated areas. It was even ahead of the US on that count. Today, though, the disease is making a ferocious comeback in the nation, even if the government fails... More »

As Venezuela Reels, Women Turn to Sterilization

With condoms and other methods in short supply, women have few choices

(Newser) - Add another problem to the catastrophe gripping Venezuela: women opting to sterilize themselves rather than bring a new life into the chaos. No government statistics on sterilization are available, but a social worker tells Reuters she sees up to five women a day who seek to undergo a tubal ligation.... More »

A Diary of Trying, Mostly Failing, to Find Food in Venezuela

A Bloomberg reporter charts her efforts over a month

(Newser) - Venezuela is in dire straits, and plenty of stories catalog how the nation's political crisis is setting off a humanitarian crisis as well. (Like so .) But for a more personal look, check out the diary kept by reporter Fabiola Zerpa at Bloomberg as she remains on a constant... More »

Family: Venezuela Cops Framed Son, New Bride

Weapons found in wife's apartment were planted: witness

(Newser) - Until June 30, Joshua Holt and his wife, Thamara Caleño, were living a fairy tale. The Mormons—Holt from Utah, Caleño from Venezuela—had fallen in love online before meeting in the Dominican Republic earlier this year. Holt then traveled to Venezuela on June 11 to marry Caleñ... More »

Things Are Getting Desperate in Venezuela

As hunger deepens, looting increases

(Newser) - A shortage of beer and Coke is the least of concerns in Venezuela, where residents are facing hunger, drought, power shortages, and the world's highest inflation rate at 480% amid a worsening economic crisis brought about by plummeting oil prices. The latest:
  • The New York Times explains 87% of
... More »

First Venezuela Lost Its Beer, Now It's Losing Its Coke

Sugar shortage has forced Coca-Cola to halt production there

(Newser) - Forget about buying the world a Coke —Venezuela can't even buy itself one now. Barely a month after the country's main brewery stopped beer production due to Venezuela's ongoing economic crisis , Coca-Cola has announced that it's also halting production of sugary beverages there because of... More »

Mob Burns Man Alive as Vigilante Justice Prevails in Venezuela

The social fabric is crumbling with the economy

(Newser) - The mob didn't know at first what Roberto Bernal had done, but he was running and that was enough. The AP reports dozens of men loitering on the sidewalk next to a supermarket in Caracas, Venezuela, kicked and punched the 42-year-old until he was bloodied and semi-conscious. After all,... More »

Venezuela Faces Beer Shortage

To join its power blackouts and two-day workweek

(Newser) - Having a five-day weekend every week as public sector workers in Venezuela do for the time being would probably be a lot more appealing if you had a home with steady electricity and a fridge full of beer. But residents of Venezuela may actually prefer to go back to work... More »

The World Has a New Lightning Capital

Sorry, Congo Basin

(Newser) - Like watching lightning? Book your next vacation for Venezuela. NASA has determined that country's Lake Maracaibo is the new lightning capital of the world. Using 16 years of data from the satellite-based Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS), scientists determined Lake Maracaibo averages about 233 lightning flashes per square kilometer every... More »

Beleaguered Venezuela Moves to New Time Zone

And there is only a week of beer left

(Newser) - "This is not life." That's what a fed-up resident of the Venezuelan city of Maracaibo tells Vice News . Residents of that country, which is being ravaged by an economic downturn and serious energy shortage, have already had their workweek slashed to two days (at least the 2... More »

Venezuela Is Now Down to a 2-Day Workweek

Though if you're a glass-half-full person, you could consider it a 5-day weekend

(Newser) - Venezuela just cut its workweek once again, and not because someone has been reading Timothy Ferriss . Earlier this month, President Nicolas Maduro gave Fridays off to the public sector to minimize power usage in the ongoing energy crisis. Now, VP Aristobulo Isturiz has announced those same workers—numbering about 2... More »

Venezuela Declares Fridays Are Holidays

At least for a while, to save money on energy

(Newser) - In the US workplace, we have "casual" Fridays; in Venezuela, they now have "don't bother coming in" Fridays. President Nicolas Maduro announced that Fridays for the next 60 days will be official state holidays to save energy in a country that's been plagued by blackouts and... More »

Socialists Seethe: Venezuela Votes for 'Counter Revolution'

Crowds celebrate as Maduro blames 'economic war'

(Newser) - Venezuela's opposition won control of the National Assembly by a landslide, trouncing the ruling party and altering the balance of power after almost 17 years of socialist rule. The opposition coalition won at least 99 seats in the incoming 167-seat legislature, electoral authorities announced after midnight Sunday. The ruling... More »

DEA Busts Relatives of Venezuelan President

First lady's nephews were flown to US

(Newser) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro regularly accuses the US of plotting against him, and the arrest of two family members by American authorities is unlikely to soften his stance. The two men were arrested in Haiti on Tuesday and flown to New York the same day to answer charges of plotting... More »

Venezuela Bikers Gunned Down for Spare Parts

Motorcycle parts are hot commodity in recession-hit country

(Newser) - Venezuela is running low on motorcycle parts, which is, in turn, likely only making its coffin shortage worse. Motorcycle riders are being gunned down for their bikes as a recession wreaks havoc on the South American country, reports Reuters . "They're killing those of us in the street to... More »

Want to Visit Venezuela? Now You'll Need a Visa

President blames 'US meddling' in decision

(Newser) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says he will limit the number of US diplomats allowed to work in the socialist South American country and also will require US citizens to apply for visas if they want to visit. Maduro said today that US meddling in the internal affairs of his country... More »

Cops Haul Off Anti-Government Caracas Mayor

Venezuela tensions soar after Ledezma arrest

(Newser) - Police broke into Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma's office yesterday and carted off the longtime critic of Venezuela's socialist government, adding to tensions on the anniversary of the outbreak of protests that paralyzed the nation a year ago. President Nicolas Maduro took to television and radio to say that... More »

McDonald's Venezuela: No Fries, Want Yuca?

All franchises are out of potatoes

(Newser) - Forget the French fries. How about a side of yuca with that Big Mac? Venezuela's more than 100 McDonald's franchises have run out of potatoes and are now serving alternatives like deep-fried corncakes or yuca, a starchy staple of traditional South American cooking. McDonald's is blaming a... More »

Dozen-Plus Inmates Die After Gulping Down Drugs

145 injured after Venezuela prisoners riot, break into penitentiary pharmacy

(Newser) - At least 13 inmates are dead after prisoners in a Venezuelan prison rioted, stormed the on-site pharmacy, and swallowed whatever drugs they could get their hands on. The deceased inmates at the David Viloria correctional center in Lara state had all been part of a hunger strike that began Monday... More »

Why Venezuelans Are Scanned Before Buying Milk

Oil-rich country has started rationing food, using fingerprint scanners

(Newser) - In Venezuela's western border state of Zulia, residents are restricted to buying no more than 2.2 pounds of "gold" a week—"gold" being a nickname for powdered milk. The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the seemingly improbable rationing that was last month enacted in... More »

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