Food Shortages in Venezuela

It’s no exaggeration – and no Cuban-style hyperbole either- that Venezuela under “mini-me” Chavez is traveling down the same dark road that Cuba under castro has paved.

As further proof of this, a feature story in today’s El Nuevo Herald addresses food shortages in many Venezuelan supermarkets. Lack of sugar, beef, milk, eggs, rice, beans…you know, the essentials.

I apologize for not translating the article for our non-Spanish reading visitors, but here’s a summary:

– According to a poll of 1,300 people conducted by private firm Datanalisis, 73 percent admitted having difficultied finding sugar; 52 percent had problems finding beef, and more than 45 percent could not find powdered milk and chicken.

– The cause? A simple lack of supply to meet demand. Last year, demand increased 18.8 percent while the gross domestic product was only 10.3 percent.

– During the first trimester of 2007, the rate of consumption has risen 18.5 percent, up from the 15 percent during the same time period in 2005 and 2006.

– In an effort to resolve this problem, the government has, among other things, removed taxes on certain goods. Nevertheless, the situation appears to be getting worse.

Here’s a quote from Mirian Ramos, a 69-year-old retiree:

This is a disaster, there are no eggs, no powdered milk, nothing. To go out to the supermarket, I need to wear low-heeled shoes because you have to walk a lot in order to get what I want. This is a disaster. I need skim milk, and since I can’t find any, I’ve been drinking calcium with water. This already resembles Cuba.

4 thoughts on “Food Shortages in Venezuela”

  1. I live in Caracas and I can tell theres been food shortage for several months. First was the sugar and when we started to get used to the brown sugar when we could find it, was the meat so we spend almost a month eating only chicken since the fish its too expensive; then the eggs and the milk and the black beans and I lost count… The tax sales percentage decreased by government decree but I dont feel that the products are less expensive now, when I can find them of course. Theres not only troubles with food shortage but also with medicine and cosmetics, its hard to find sometimes certain labels for example do you have to buy things of less quality labels. Sometimes you find some areas of the supermarket completly empty, and you wonder if you are living in a war zone and you are the only one who hasn’t realize of that yet.
    PS: I ask excuses about the grammar and spelling mistakes you might find on the lines above, like Celia Cruz used to say “my english is not very good looking”

  2. Oh, No, Chavez is not responsible for this. No way. It’s ethanol. Or global warming. Or the Jewish lobby. Or something. Anything but the people who happen to be in complete control of the country and what goes on in it. Any other interpretation is simply American imperialist propaganda.

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