Millions of starving Venezuelans continued their struggle to find food and basic necessities over the weekend, with multiple outlets reporting “mile-long” lines for gasoline in the once oil-rich nation.
“U.S. sanctions on oil-rich Venezuela appear to be taking hold, resulting in mile-long lines for fuel in the South American nation’s second-largest city, Maracaibo,” reports the Associated Press. “Some drivers said they’d had to wait almost 24 hours to fuel up, and people have been grabbing catnaps on the hoods of cars or in truck beds.”
“I’ve spent four days trying to get gasoline,” said one resident. “But I couldn’t.”
Locals complained to city officials after Police Officers reportedly accepted bribes of $3.60 -more than half of Venezuela’s monthly minimum wage- to cut the lines and purchase gasoline.
The gas shortage comes less than two weeks after opposition leader Juan Guaido launched a nationwide uprising with the hopes of removing socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro.
Guaido -recognized as Venezuela’s interim President by more than 50 countries- blamed the “failure” on senior military officials’ decision to support Maduro’s regime as tens of thousands protested across Caracas.
“There have been discussions… with civil and military officials who are ready to take the side of our constitution,” he added. “I’m very optimistic given that we are very close to achieving change in Venezuela.”
Maduro publicly blamed the uprising on the United States, saying the so-called “coup” was directed from the “Gringo Empire” based in Washington, DC.
Read the full report at the Associated Press.