Venezuela Experiencing Protests and Looting Amid Food and Fuel Shortages

Although North America is experiencing an oversupply of fossil fuels and bottle-necked food chains amid the coronavirus pandemic, the same cannot be said about Venezuela. Since the beginning of April, there have been at least 500 protests across Venezuela regarding the recent food and fuel shortages stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

Venezuela, which has recently been hit hard with virus cases, has been under a 6-week mandatory lockdown in order to curb further infection rates. However, due to an already-high poverty rate among the country’s citizens, many are resorting to protests and looting as a means of survival.

The Venezuelan economy has been grappling with a gasoline shortage, which in turn is negatively affecting the country’s food supply chain. There has been a significant disruption in the production of food, as many farmers are faced with a shortage of fuel needed to successfully complete harvests of grains and fruit. Then, what little amount of produce is available for market, is further backlogged due to widespread lack of transportation.

As a result, many Venezuelans have gone hungry, and have instead chosen to defy lockdown orders by looting food markets. In an incident in the town of Cumanacoa, several citizens broke into a chicken farm and at least 5 food retailers, as a means of acquiring scarce food for their families. As a result, 32 persons were arrested, and 2 were shot. Meanwhile, a protest at a municipal market in the southern Bolivar state resulted in 33 arrests and several injuries.

If in developed countries such as the US it does not appear that economies will be returning to normal anytime soon, then Venezuela will more than likely have an even tougher road to recovery ahead.

Information for this briefing was found via Bloomberg. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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