Venezuelans face hunger and extreme looting after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro declared Venezuela is in a state of emergency for 60 days. Maduro said a threat to external security exists and his administration must deal with the threat as soon as possible.
Citizens have become restless. Many are waiting in line for food in relief centres. Meanwhile, looting and social tensions have increased in the city of Guarenas.
According to citizens, some have resorted to eating domesticated animals including dogs, cats and pigeons to resolve local food shortages.
A citizen said most people have no food. Power is cut to only four hours a day and crime is soaring in the country.
Most citizens said Maduro would not take responsibility for the trouble. They said “something has to give.”
Venezuela’s economy is suffering from low oil prices. Combined with limitations to dollar purchases, the country’s import-dependent economy is seeing a shortage on food and medicine. Cases of cancer, HIV, diabetes and hypertension are increasing nationwide.
“Shortages are just going to get worse in the coming weeks and months, and the government’s bet that they can keep the protests and looting … small-scale seems risky,” said David Smilde, a senior fellow at the Washington Office on Latin America. “Venezuelans are not used to hunger and do not have a lot of respect for Maduro as their leader.”
According to Maduro:
“They don’t want a referendum, they want a coup,” Maduro said this week during meeting with foreign journalists. “We have no obligations to hold any type of referendum in this country.”