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 Food queues, grave-robbing, hyperinflation: escaping Venezuela's nightmare

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PostSubject: Food queues, grave-robbing, hyperinflation: escaping Venezuela's nightmare    Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:51 pm

One afternoon earlier this year, 51-year-old English teacher Diego Hernandez* walked half an hour from his home near the Venezuelan capital of Caracas to the beach at Macuto, on the Caribbean coast, where he intended to wash in the ocean with sand and seaweed. Since the collapse of the Venezuelan economy, fresh water has been rationed and finding basic items such as soap and toilet paper has become almost impossible. For Diego, a trip to the beach was the best way to keep clean. Besides, he tells me, "Seaweed is good for your skin."

In the early 2000s, Macuto was a largely middle-class area. Now many of its seaside properties have been expropriated by Venezuela's hardline socialist government or taken over by gangs. Some homes have simply been abandoned. Diego sometimes walked through these properties as a shortcut to the beach. On the day he went to bathe, he entered a derelict house where there were bullet holes in the walls and the smell of rotting flesh. Following his nose, he came to a room. Blood covered the floor and the back wall was spattered with gore. "They had shot someone in there, and there were bits and pieces left on the wall."
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Food queues, grave-robbing, hyperinflation: escaping Venezuela's nightmare

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