Several people were killed and more than a dozen injured in socialist Venezuela on Thursday after they tried to loot stores for food so they would not starve to death.
AFP News reports that in the town of Arapuey, looters desperately tried to get food and clashed with the military, which resulted in approximately 100 arrests. According to the local press and the opposition party, four people were killed and 15 injured after violence erupted over attempts to loot food.
Key takeaways from AFP's report include:
- Hyperinflation is expected to top 2,300% in 2018.
- Universities in Venezuela say that 30.2% of Venezuelans face poverty,
51.5% face extreme poverty.
- The Venezuelan government says that 18.3% of Venezuelans face poverty,
4.4% face extreme poverty.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is now supposedly considering allowing food donations from around the world to enter the country, but only if his opposition recognizes the legitimacy of the highly controversial National Constituent Assembly (NCA), the Miami Herald reported on Thursday. If he allows food donations to enter the country, which he has so far denied, Maduro reportedly will want full control of where the food is distributed.
"Accepting the Constituent Assembly means surrendering the country. It is legitimizing the regime’s staying in power and driving the final nail into the casket of freedom in Venezuela," said former Venezuelan ambassador Diego Arias.
"Right now, Maduro is desperate because of the food situation. The country is burning up with looting, and he understands that the situation could spin out of control," political consultant Esteban Gerbasi said. "If they get control of the food and recognition of the NCA, they would go on to control everything. That would be very grave. With those two things, Maduro will be in a position to control the Venezuelan people."