BBC: Going hungry in Venezuela
It's one thing to talk to people you've never met before who are suffering from hunger, and it's a completely different thing when they are from your own family, as the BBC's Vladimir Hernandez discovered when he returned to his native Venezuela to report on its failure to get food on people's tables.
Travelling through the country this month I saw endless queues of people trying to buy food - any food - at supermarkets and other government-run shops.
I was stopped at a roadblock in the middle of the countryside by people who said they had eaten nothing but mangoes for three days.
I saw the hopeless expression of a mother, who had been eating so little that she was no longer able to breastfeed her baby.
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WNU Editor: I saw this in the former Soviet Union .... to see the bewildered look on the faces of those who for years supported a socialist model of government control on food distribution and other services .... and in the end they have nothing. For many Venezuelans they are now in the denial phase .... and they are accepting the government's claims that foreigners and speculators are responsible for this mess. But these numbers are shrinking, and I would not be surprised if by next year the Venezuelan government and military start suppressing the first serious outbreaks of revolution, while hundreds of thousands (if not a million plus) start to flee the country into neighbouring Latin American countries and to the U.S..