Washington Post - May 4: Venezuela should be rich. Instead it’s becoming a failed state.
This is an entirely man-made catastrophe. Venezuela, by all rights, should be rich. As we just said, it has more oil than the United States or Saudi Arabia or anyone else for that matter. But despite that, economic mismanagement on a world-historical scale has barely left it with enough money to even, well, pay for printing money anymore. That's right: Venezuela is almost too poor to afford inflation. Which is just another way of saying that the government is all but bankrupt.Bloomberg News - May 9: Catastrophe Is the New Normal for Venezuelans
And how has President Nicolas Maduro responded to the energy crisis? He cut the work week for public servants to two days. Along with the furlough, Maduro -- who also is presiding over the world's worst recession -- ordered a 30 percent hike in the national minimum wage. Just how much the crowd-pleasing bonus will matter in a country with high triple-digit inflation, where consumers queueing for hours can't find eight out of 10 staple goods at grocery stores, is debatable. Not to mention that Venezuela is literally running out of bank notes.Rueters - May 14: U.S. concern grows over possible Venezuela meltdown
In a bleak assessment of Venezuela's worsening crisis, the senior officials expressed doubt that unpopular leftist President Nicolas Maduro would allow a recall referendum this year, despite opposition-led protests demanding a vote to decide whether he stays in office.Latin American Herald Tribune - May 15: Venezuela Unleashes Tanks as 4 Killed, 1,200 Arrested
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Mobs in Venezuela have stolen flour, chicken and even underwear this week as looting increases across the crisis-hit OPEC nation where many basic products have run short, and the U.S. officials said this could spiral into widespread unrest. Soldiers fired tear gas at stone-throwing protesters on Wednesday as Venezuela's opposition marched to pressure electoral authorities into allowing a recall referendum against Maduro.
Police and National Guard killed four suspects Tuesday during a wide raid in Western Caracas that involved tanks and helicopters, as Venezuela also underwent the rare climate phenomenon known as a “solar halo.”
“As has been the request of our people, we have deployed OLP New Phase in 4 areas of Caracas,” tweeted Interior Minister Gustavo Gonzalez as the operation began unfolding. Local media said eight suspected criminals were killed during the operation, but Gonzalez spoke only of four killed when resisting police action. Some 400 vehicles were used during the operation, ranging from motorcycles to tanks and choppers.
Wombat-socho has the grand "Rule 5 Sunday: Women In Limousines" up at The Other McCain. Linked at Free North Carolina in "Socialism Progressing as Expected in Venezuela: It Runs Out Of Beer!"