Venezuela: chronicle of a disaster foretold

The country holds the largest oil reserves in the world, but shelves in stores are empty. The population is hungry. The fall in oil prices revealed the disastrous state of the nation's finances following Chávez's experiment. A default could be a matter of time.


The lines that “wrap” blocks in Venezuelan cities are an everyday scene. In Caracas, a woman sitting under a tree with a child said that she and her husband had been taking turns standing in line since 4.30 am to buy milk. There was no more milk, though, nor diapers. Another woman said that she would stay in the line hoping to be able to buy soap. She got a number. This means that she already passed the first check for products subject to rationing.

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