Things Are Getting Desperate in Venezuela

As hunger deepens, looting increases
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2016 11:43 AM CDT
A police officer talks to an angry crowd during a protest for food at the Catia neighborhood in Caracas, Venezuela.   (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
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(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 the population can't afford to buy food. It's no surprise, then, that more than 100 food stores were looted last week alone, per Quartz. At least five people were killed.
  • ABC News provides the basics on how the nation got to this point.
  • "We're living worse than in a war situation," a woman in Caracas tells the CBC, adding people wait hours in line at supermarkets for a loaf of bread and go without soap and toothpaste.

  • The US sent a top diplomat to Venezuela on Tuesday. Reuters explains what he'll try to accomplish.
  • A process is underway to validate some 2 million signatures on a petition calling for a referendum to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. The BBC explains the next steps, while Telesur TV notes the date of a referendum would be crucial.
  • Daniel Lansberg-Rodríguez at Foreign Policy tells how his friend, an opposition activist helping verify signatures, was detained on Monday and hasn't been heard from since.
  • Kenneth Rapoza at Forbes explains why Venezuela is a "failed state" and can't afford to pay its short-term debt. Meanwhile, the political left blames America.
(Read more Venezuela stories.)

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