- Title: Venezuelans struggle to make ends meet as the political crisis deepens
- Date: 3rd August 2017
- Summary: CARACAS, VENEZUELA) (AUGUST 3, 2017) (REUTERS) NEIGHBORHOOD IN CARACAS PEOPLE WAITING IN LINE TO BUY TWO KILOS OF RICE PEOPLE IN LINE PASSING BY MAN CHECKING NUMBERS TO ENTER STORE CLOSE UP OF A TICKET READING "147" INDICATING THE PERSON'S NUMBER IN LINE PEOPLE OUTSIDE A SUPERMARKET GENERAL VIEW OF PEOPLE AT CHECKOUT REGISTERS AT SUPERMARKET WOMAN AT CHECKOUT REGISTER CLOSE UP OF A BAG OF RICE AT CHECKOUT REGISTER (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) RESIDENT OF CARACAS, MARTHA GALERA, SAYING: "Every day less (food) arrives, money doesn't go as far, this is the situation we're living in. At least we're waiting in line and we have a little bit of money to eat, but there are people who don't have anything and they have to get things out of the trash." STREET IN CARACAS CARS DRIVING ON WIDE STREET PEOPLE WALKING ALONG A STREET IN CARACAS PEOPLE PASSING BY A POST WITH GRAFFITI OF A PICTURE OF VENEZUELA'S PRESIDENT HOLDING UP THE CONSTITUTION READING "THIS IS THE NEW BOLIVARIAN TOILET PAPER" CARS AT INTERSECTION IN CARACAS PEOPLE EXITING A SUPERMARKET (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) RESIDENT OF CARACAS, ARMANDO MANZANO, SAYING: "Everything is critical. Life is too expensive. This bread cost me an hour and a half of waiting in line to take the bread to three grandchildren I have and the truth is that I have to go out in the street to find things for them to eat because everything is bad, bad, had. There is nothing good in this country, nothing. Insecurity, unemployment, in hospitals you can't get medicine." CLOSE UP OF DISPLAY OF THINGS FOR SALE IN THE STREET GENERAL VIEW OF MAN WITH ITEMS FOR SALE ON THE STREET MAN ARRANGING ITEMS FOR SALE ON THE STREET CARACAS RESIDENT WITH BAG OF ITEMS HE PURCHASED CLOSE UP OF BAGS WITH ITEMS RECENTLY PURCHASED (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) RESIDENT OF CARACAS, ALEXANDER GOMEZ SAYING: "I got it but it (a kilo of rice) was expensive. I had to stand in line in the early morning to be able to buy with my identity card number and it was expensive, everything is expensive. For the salary you make, the money just doesn't make it." STREET IN CARACAS WITH CARS AT INTERSECTION CARS MOVING SLOWLY ON STREET PEOPLE WALKING ALONG A SIDEWALK (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) RESIDENT OF CARACAS, PERLA MARTINEZ, SAYING: "What I hope for is that there will be a (political) agreement and that there be peace in Venezuela. Because, that's what we want, all Venezuelans, that unity exists and that peace prevails." STREET SCENE IN CARACAS BUSY BUS STOP IN CARACAS PRISONER (OF THE YARE JAIL) CUTTING BRANCHES IN CARACAS STREET PRISONERS CLEANING A SIDEWALK IN CARACAS PRISONER CLEANING AND GUARD IN FOREGROUND WITH HAND ON PISTOL PRISONERS CLEANING PARK PRISONERS CLEANING WITH GUARD IN FOREGROUND
- Embargoed: 17th August 2017 21:02
- Keywords: Venezuela Nicolas Maduro political crisis food shortages
- Location: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- City: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- Country: Venezuela
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016SLSFUV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Caracas residents had a brief respite on Thursday (August 3) from the daily protests and clashes that have dominated the streets recently, but the break did little to quell concerns over ongoing food shortages and fears over potential violence that could erupt on Friday (August 4) amid the country's ongoing political crisis.
On Friday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is expected to swear in the newly elected and controversial constituent assembly to replace the opposition-led National Assembly. Meanwhile, opposition leaders are calling for a march to the center of Caracas to protest the creation of the 545-member constituent assembly.
But Thursday saw Venezuelans proceeding with their lives as normal, trying to get food and worrying about money.
Venezuela has been mired in violence and political tension for months with the Maduro government and the political opposition accusing each other of bringing the country to the brink of collapse. But the recent political woes come on top of four years of economic disaster with the GDP falling 18.6 percent and a record inflation rate of 800 percent in 2016. The International Monetary Fund predicts a further fall of 12 percent of the GDP and an inflation rate of 720 percent in 2017.
This has left ordinary Venezuelans facing falling real wages, shortages of everything from food to medicine and violence in their every day life.
On Thursday, Caracas resident Armando Manzano was frustrated after waiting for over and hour for bread. "There is nothing good in this country," he said. That downtrodden sentiment was reflected by another Caracas resident, Alexander Gomez, who had to wait in line for hours to buy a kilo of rice and said, "everything is expensive" But others still hope for a brighter future. Perla Martinez said there is still hope for a political agreement and peace.
Meanwhile, the political situation showed no signs of unity or peace with Venezuela's president rejecting accusations made Wednesday (August 2) that his government inflated turnout figures from its constituent assembly election, branding them part of an effort to stain what he called a clean and transparent vote. The opposition, which boycotted the vote, has dismissed the official tally as fraudulent. A high turnout was seen as crucial for leftist Maduro to legitimize the election in the face of wide international criticism.
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