A nation-wide study conducted by the Universidad Central de Venezuela called the Encuesta Sobre Condiciones de Vida de los Venezolanos [Venezuelans’ Living Conditions Survey] found that 12.1% of Venezuelan atr only two or fewer meals per day in 2015, up from 11.3% in 2014.
The survey sampled residents from 23 cities across the country, and included a new socio-economic category: “recently poor”, used to describe middle-class families who have found themselves slipping into poverty in recent years.
Marianella Herrara Cuenca, the head of the working group that conducted the survey, said that the quality of food Venezuelans have access to is also worrying:
In the case of protein – which used to feed even the neediest – we are watching with worry how eggs and beans have disappeared from the tables of [the poor].
The study also found that the foods Venezuelans eat the most are corn flour, pasta, rice, bread, margarine and mayonnaise.
The study also revealed that overall figures for 2015 were worse than in 2014. Cuenca explained:
87% of those surveyed said that their income was not enough to afford food, while only 13% said that it was. In 2014, these percentages were 80.1% and 19.5% [respectively].
Massive Lines at Supermarkets Around the Country
El Nacional has compiled images from around the country showing huge lines at supermarkets and other establishments today. Below, some of the images.
The line at a Bicentenario supermarket in Zulia state (likely Maracaibo):
The line outside a supermarket in San Felipe, Yaracuy state:
The line outside the Bicenternario supermarket in Terrazas del Avila, Caracas:
In Caricuao, Caracas:
And in Caurimare, Caracas:
Rain Falls in Guri Dam
“Heavy and sustained” rain fell in the area of the Guri dam on Thursday and Friday, bringing the country’s largest electrical plant one step back from having to shut down due to low water levels.
The announcement was made by an ecstatic Minister of Electrical Energy Luis Motta Dominguez, who tweeted:
Comrades! Heavy and sustained rain fell in the Guri dam today… PRAISE BE TO GOD! WE WILL SUCCEED!
Dominguez attached the following message to the tweet, which shows him alongside a group of rain-soaked men at the dam:
Water levels at the Guri dam have been approaching a historic low, which threatened to shut down the plant and plunge the country’s electrical grid into chaos.
INTERPOL Officer, Entrepreneur Charged in Drug Trafficking Case
Venezuelan authorities have charged an INTERPOL office and a Venezuelan entrepreneur in connection with a cocaine smuggling operation involving the Dominican Republic. Eliecer Garcia Torrealba – “head of INTERPOL” in Venezuela – and Pablo Cardenas are suspected in being involved in the drug trade.
The arrests were made in connection to the interception of a Venezuelan airplane in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on March 24. Authorities there discovered that the plane was carrying 359 kilograms of cocaine. Five Venezuelan men are currently in detention in the Dominican Republic, while Venezuelan authorities have arrested eleven in the country who are suspected of having been involved in the operation.
According to the Attorney General’s office:
Cardenas financed and commanded the operation (…) we presume that Garcia Torrealba, taking advantage of his office, coordinated actions inside the airport [in Barquisimeto] with the goal of ensuring the plane took off.
Among the other people detained in Venezuela in connection to the case are National Guard officer and airport security officers.
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