Venezuela’ starving citizens continued to struggle to secure basic necessities over the weekend; with local reports saying residents are bathing in rivers and streams after the government shut down “unnecessary” water supplies.
“On Thursday, Juan Guaido woke up and doused himself with a bucket of water,” reports Bloomberg. “It was his shower. Like millions of Venezuelans, the man who dozens of countries recognize as the legitimate leader of his broken country can’t rely on the taps to run.”
“It’s one of the things I hate most,” said the 35-year-old lawmaker. “It’s a symbol of poverty, and during much of my life I had to do it.”
“It’s going to get worse,” warned Guaido.
Venezuela’s feared street gangs -known for armed robberies across the Capital in recent years- are now “feeling the pinch” of the socialist nation’s crumbling economy, with a sharp decline in robberies as the country’s currency becomes “near worthless.”
“Firing a gun has become a luxury. Bullets are expensive at $1 each. And with less cash circulating on the street, he says robberies just don’t pay like they used to,” reports NBC News.
“But in something of an unexpected silver lining to the country’s all-consuming economic crunch, experts say armed assaults and killings are plummeting in one of the world’s most violent nations. At the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence, a Caracas-based nonprofit group, researchers estimate homicides have plunged up to 20% over the last three years based on tallies from media clippings and sources at local morgues,” adds the report.
Inflation for Venezuela’s failing currency topped 1,000,000% in 2018.
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 months 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 Bloomberg.
BOLTON ON VENEZUELA: White House Working Towards First ‘Completely Free Hemisphere’ in Human History
National Security Advisor John Bolton outlined the President’s bold vision on foreign policy this week; saying the White House hopes to see the first “completely free hemisphere” in human history.
“I think many U.S. allies in this region, in this hemisphere, those closest to us, welcome the U.S. leadership here under President Trump to keep foreign powers from extending their influence, particularly in Venezuela, which is what I was referring to when I said the Monroe Doctrine is alive and well. It’s intended to throw a shield around the hemisphere,” Bolton said.
“It’s worked for a long time, and I think it’s an important doctrine to keep in mind as we work for the objective that President Trump seeks here, which is the first completely free hemisphere in human history. We’re not embarrassed by that,” he added.
CARACAS UPRISING: Maduro Says ‘Military Traitors’ Attempting a Coup in Venezuela’s Capital
Venezuela’s socialist government confirmed Tuesday that a group of “military traitors” were actively attempting to overthrow Nicolas Maduro’s regime in Caracas; saying opposition leader Juan Guaido is currently in the capital surrounded by a group of “men in uniform.”
The President of Colombia threw his full support behind Guado hours after violence erupted just miles from Maduro’s residence; saying “We call the military and the people of #Venezuela to be on the right side of history, rejecting the dictatorship and usurpation of Maduro; uniting in search of freedom, democracy and institutional reconstruction, headed by @AsambleaVE and the President @jguaido.”
Hacemos llamado a militares y al pueblo de #Venezuela para que se ubiquen del lado correcto de la historia, rechazando dictadura y usurpación de Maduro; uniéndose en búsqueda de libertad, democracia y reconstrucción institucional, en cabeza de @AsambleaVE y el Presidente @jguaido
— Iván Duque 🇨🇴 (@IvanDuque) April 30, 2019
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.