CARACAS — A man waits in line to buy food at a grocery store in La Urbina, east Caracas. Some people in line arrived at 3 a.m and waited several hours before being able to make their purchases. (Alejandro Cegarra/For the Washington Post)
Mariana Zuñiga and Nick Miroff, Washington Post: In a hungry Venezuela, buying too much food can get you arrested
BARQUISIMETO, Venezuela – The hunt for food started at 4 a.m., when Alexis Camascaro woke up to get in line outside the supermarket. By the time he arrived, there were already 100 people ahead of him.
Camascaro never made it inside. Truckloads of Venezuelan troops arrived in the darkness, arresting him and nearly 30 others seemingly pulled from the queue at random, according to his lawyer. Camascaro, 50, was charged with violating laws against interfering "directly or indirectly" with the production, transportation or sale of food. He has been in jail for three months, awaiting a hearing.
“I went to see the prosecutors and explained that he was just buying some food for his family. He’s not a bachaquero,” said Lucía Mata, Camascaro’s attorney, using the Venezuelan term for someone who buys scarce, price-capped or government-subsidized goods to resell on the black market.
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Update: Venezuela's "Death Spiral" (Susan Warner, Gatestone Institute)
WNU Editor: I cannot help but sense that we are on the brink of witnessing millions of Venezuelans fleeing the country in the months to come.