HAVANA TIMES – A new day of protests and looting took place on Friday in Venezuela with shortages and the high cost of food being the catalyst, reported dpa. Meanwhile the Government continues to insist there is no crisis, just foreign aggression.
The disturbances were registered starting the early morning hours, when five trucks loaded with foods were boarded by dozens of people in the state of Zulia (the West). In addition, the population is said to have stolen the batteries of the vehicles.
This event was registered almost as a continuation of the riots and looting Thursday in the state of Merida, in localities neighboring Zulia, where four people died, dozens were injured and many calves were butchered in the midst of the riots due to food shortages.
The sporadic protests and looting in Merida continued until the morning hours in the town of Tucani and its surroundings, but the subsequent deployment of the National Guard (militarized police) and the local police prevented scenes like those that occurred on Thursday from being repeated.
In eastern Venezuela there were protests and looting in Cumaná, capital of the state of Sucre, forcing the authorities to carry out a police operation while businesses chose to close in the face of the tense situation.
Similarly, in the state of Lara (center-west) and in the municipality of Carrizal, on the outskirts of Caracas, the National Police repressed the protests around supermarkets with tear gas.
Meanwhile, government representatives remain silent on the protests over food shortages that have been escalating in intensity since the end of last year. To date Maduro has denied that there is a food and medicine crisis in Venezuela and rejects the humanitarian aid offered by several countries. He blames any difficulties on what he calls “the economic war” from the Trump administration and local oligarchs.
During a meeting of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA) Maduro did not mention the looting of recent days, but again denounced the existence of “financial persecution” as a way to explain the picture of food shortages and rampant inflation that his country is experiencing.
Today the exchange rate for one US dollar on the streets of Venezuela surpassed 170,000 bolivars, the local currency.