Citizens in one Western country are hunting pigeons, cats and even dogs for food because of an economic crisis that has emptied supermarket shelves and led to lengthy blackouts.
Ramon Muchacho, mayor of the Chacao region in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, delivered the shocking news earlier this month when news began spreading that Venezuelan soldiers were stealing goats for food.
“People hunting cats and dogs in the streets, and pigeons in the squares, to eat them,” he wrote. “This is not a joke. It is a very painful reality.”
Six of Venezuela’s officers were arrested for stealing goats to kill for meat, The Panama Post reported, after no food had been delivered to their army base.
To make matters worse, looting of shopping malls, supermarkets, pharmacies and food trucks by mobs of hungry people is now widespread in Venezuela, The Panama Post reported. But deliveries are not being made to stores.
Pictures and videos posted on social media show that every shelf in some markets has been cleared. In the city of Puerto Cabello, a mob broke down the doors to a warehouse and pillaged bags of raw corn after workers told hungry people that they could only get small bags of flour.
“There’s no rice, no pasta, no flour,” resident Glerimar Yohan told the newspaper, La Costa, “only hunger.”
The nation is in the midst of a constitutional crisis, with President Puerto Cabello trying to hold onto power and opponents in Congress attempting to run him out of office.
Maduro has tried to end the food shortages by declaring a state of emergency and ordering the arrest of business owners whose factories are not producing food. Amnesty International has accused the president of violating human rights.
The next logical step will be for Venezuelans to flee their own country simply to eat. Some observers say the South American nation could soon experience a refugee crisis similar to the one in Europe.
“As hunger deepens, we could see more Venezuelans fleeing by land or sea,” Muchacho predicted.
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