The drama of Venezuela’s political conflict is being carried out against the backdrop of its worst economic crisis in decades.
With runaway inflation far outstripping the average wage, around 82 percent of Venezuelan households are living in poverty.
Supermarket shelves are empty making the daily priority the search for just the basics. News of a delivery triggers massive queues.
Yaritza Chirimos lives in Caracas:
“Here, there are no medicines, there is nothing.”
Berta Martínez has someone to blame:
“I want to tell the President Maduro to stop the lies because if he wants, we can take him to our homes and show him what is in our refrigerators.”
“Citizens form long queues every day to obtain products such as milk, pasta or rice … The Constituent Assembly President Delcy Rodriguez has said its members will face the economic crisis that in her judgment is being promoted from abroad,” reports Eduardo Salazar Uribe for euronews.
Around half of Venezuelan workers are engaged in the so-called “informal economy” to survive, but that doesnt qualify them for social security.
Economist Alejandro Grisanti has seen the economic reality for his countrymen and women get steadily worse.
“About 40% of the population is eating less than 3 times a day, it could be 1 or 2 times a day…many Venezuelans have been forced to eat food scavenged from waste bins, often its the only food they have each day. This is not just happening out the back of restaurants and cafes, but on middle class housing estates.”
While the opposition is blaming President Maduro for the mismanagement of the economy, he still has a strong core of support who see the crisis in terms of a class war.
Yetzaida Morillo is a government sympathizer:
“Rich people do not like poor people and they will never fight for our needs and priorities.”
Our reporter Eduardo Salazar Uribe says if Maduro’s government hopes to solve the economic crisis it will have an uphill struggle bearing in mind that the accumulated rate of inflation for this year is predicted to be around 1100%.