“What’s certain is that we are going very hungry here and the children are suffering a lot,” said María Palma, a 55-year-old grandmother who on a recent blistering hot day had been standing in line at the grocery store since 3 a.m. before walking away empty-handed at midday.The wages of the sin of socialism, everywhere it's been tried. Today in Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea. Yesterdays in Eastern Europe, Mao's China and Allende's Chile.
“It’s a national crisis,” said Marco Ponce, head of the Venezuela Observatory of Social Conflict, noting that unlike the political protests of last year, residents are now taking to the streets demanding social rights.And now they're assaulting Venezuelan troops who are enforcing the price controls that are responsible for the shortages. Because it's a matter or survival.
The nonprofit group recorded 500 protests over food shortages during the first half of 2015, 56 looting incidents and dozens of attempted lootings at grocery stores, pharmacies and warehouses. Even delivery trucks are frequently targeted. “If people aren’t outside protesting, they’re outside standing in line for goods,” Mr. Ponce said.
Resident Yusleidy Márquez said she too fears the worst. The basket of subsidized food the government gives her mother every 15 days only feeds her family for two days. Lately, she only eats a cornmeal patty for lunch because she can’t afford more.Unless they can defeat their own military, which itself is controlled by Cubans.
“I think we’re going to die of hunger,” she said.