As hunger mounts, Venezuelans turn to trash for food

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Until recently, Julio Noguera worked at a bakery. Now he spends his evenings searching through the garbage for food.

“I come here looking for food because if I didn’t, I’d starve to death,” Noguera said as he sorted through a pile of moldy potatoes. “With things like they are, no one helps anyone and no one gives away meals.”

Across town, unemployed people converge every dusk at a trash heap on a downtown Caracas sidewalk to pick through rotten fruit and vegetables tossed out by nearby shops. They are frequently joined by small business owners, college students and pensioners — people who consider themselves middle class even though their living standards have long ago been pulverized by triple-digit inflation, food shortages and a collapsing currency.

  • Martin B

    Hugo took office in 1999. Give the Bern free reign for 17 years, and Americans would be grubbing for moldy potatoes too.

    • mauser 98

      less than 10

  • favill

    What am I missing here. Venezuela is a warm, tropical country where the growing season could be 12 months long. How hard is it to grab some of those tomatoes, take the seeds out and plant them. Those “moldy” potatoes (unless cooked) could become the seed stock for a small crop of potatoes. It isn’t “sexy” but you wouldn’t starve. You could even grow them in large pots if you live in an apartment. I notice corn and watermelon…you can grow all these things.

    • mauser 98

      most are probably inner city dwellers …don’t know how
      food stamps are modern soup line ups

    • canminuteman

      I live in a small city with a typical city lot. I have two apple trees in my front yard and have grown tomatoes and peppers in the past, but now grow mostly herbs. There is no value for me in growing things that are cheap to buy, but I do grow basil, cilantro, sage, rosemary, thyme, mint, chives and probably others I have forgotten about. We also keep a pantry with a hundred odd pounds of flour and rice and a ton of canned stuff. It wouldn’t be a particularly varied diet but we wouldn’t starve for a long time.

      • dance…dancetotheradio

        That problem isn’t going to work itself out for at least a year or more.

    • Apparently, North Korea is the food basket of the Korean Peninsula. It can grow rice.

      And yet it doesn’t.

      Revolutions, is my point.

    • BillyHW

      Your neighbours would steal your food before you could eat it yourself, like the good little socialists they are.

  • Clink9

    Moldy potatoes, luxury!

  • ntt1

    here is the true grandeur of socialism, notice the even sharing of misery that cuts across class distinction? even a venezuelan version of sean penn would be dumpster diving …true egalitarianism at last.

    • Alain

      Except for those in power who continue living the good life.

      • ntt1

        thats the aim of the progressives , be the top dogs , issuing dicta and living the good life.

  • Once again, socialism and communism fail.

    • Billy Bob Thornton

      So you want nations to be debt-based. Having independent nations is something I support which means nations having value-based currencies. The West does not want a nation to pay off its debt. You notice something about the West and why it has enjoyed success because it is under the thumb of international bankers.

      If you do not know what it means that means we are debtor nations and yes debts always go up. We do not have control over our money supply. Which is why we pay service changes in banks. Those monies go straight to the banks. Every time a loan is taken out a bank creates new money out of thin air at interest. See how money is created by the big banks. It is created by them without going through the Bank of Canada, the people’s bank!

      • Billy Bob Thornton

        I support nationalist states but people think nationalism, socialism or communism always lead to nations failing when the only other alternative is either a value based currency advocated through a gold based currency or bimetalism (monetarism) or a debtor model which the West has.

      • Whee does Maduro keep his money? Under a pillow or in an off-shore account?

        • Billy Bob Thornton

          This has nothing to do with Maduro. I frankly feel a nation should have the ability to create its own money like Hitler did with a value based currency. I do not admire Hitler but I want a nation to be able to go outside the international system and build nation wealth unlike anything in human existence. I also feel that Maduro’s party is massively anti-nationalist by not challenging Western bankers and the international banking organizations like the World Bank and the IMF.

          • Why would a thread about Venezuela have nothing to do with Maduro?

          • dance…dancetotheradio

            Hitler’s economy was also a slave based Ponzi scheme.

          • tom_billesley

            Hitler had to start WW2 before his economy crashed.

          • dance…dancetotheradio

            I wonder if the Chinese have the same problem.

          • UCSPanther

            You are going to look like a real idiot when Venezuela finally collapses like it should, and I will not hesitate to rub your nose in it.

            If this was the late 1980s, you would be defending Nicolae Ceasescu’s regime, and look how that turned out…

        • Billy Bob Thornton

          Do you think any of the Western politicians did not do such things in the Panama papers or in the Cayman Islands? Don’t make me laugh. Why do you trust our politicians so much? I thought you don’t trust the political class. For me, this could all end in a completely independent system with proper rules. It is easy to hate when motivated by your own ideology. I simply believe that if a nation is independent and free from outside special interests it will be independent and actually more moral.

          • You don’t like addressing the fact that (in this thread about Venezuela, may I remind you) Maduro is a dictator and a thief and that socialism failed.

            Instead, you blather on about banks because everyone knows that the real reason why Venezuela is a bust is because of banks, not because of Maduro’s socialist tyranny.

            Okay then….

          • Billy Bob Thornton

            Dictator how? Maduro won a presidential election because they go based on the top 2 results. That is how they are. You do not understand that all the neoliberal parties had to go behind one versus the United Socialist party.

            I am against banks because the way internationalist settlement of national debts are based on using the BRICS system of their IMF versus the Western system of international debts which is a debt-based model. I oppose the World Bank and IMF. I want alternative models.

            Socialism was never achieved because workers did not own the means of production. I would have supported Left Wing Nationalism but they choose reformism under democratic socialism. I oppose that model because it is too union-focused rather than tariff focused they did not want to go anti-globalist and choose the Russia or China model.

            Russia should also put a base of operations in Venezuela to ensure independent nationalism.

          • Not a dictator in a one party state and where people who cry for food are called enemies of the state, you say?


            Please stop defending systems that have been proven so unworkable.

          • Minicapt

            One of these days, you may have a clue. But not yet.


          • dance…dancetotheradio

            Spanish based civilizations ultimately fail.

      • dance…dancetotheradio

        Billy Bob,
        I am old enough to remember when people in their houses and companies in their buildings kept enough cash reserves to buffett themselves from temporary setbacks.
        It was called saving for a rainy day.

        • B__2

          Many Venezuelans probably did keep cash reserves at home in case a rainy day. The problem is that when the inflation rate is 500% per year, then that same cash will only buy roughly 85% of what it did last month, and next month it will only buy 85% of what it does now. People rightly decide to spend their cash now while it still has some value, further driving inflation as more money is chasing fewer resources.

  • Billy Bob Thornton

    No one on the political right ever discusses about how debt is plenty in the West when socialist and nationalist countries have much lower debts and are anti-IMF. That is the real truth of the matter. No wonder Chavez was poisoned and Tamer replaced Roussef in Brazil. These are facts that no one will mention. Governments must own the currency of the nation and currencies must be public utilities. The problem with Venezuela is it was an oil-only economy. Nationalist and socialist nations can succeed with many resources. The problem with Venezuela is it wanted reformism. People also forget that there was no worker owned companies. It did not reach full socialism. It was merely reformism. Which is why the opposition gained last year which were US-CIA puppets.

    • Exile1981

      Actually most of the dictator ships have very little personal debt because the government controls all the money and many of them are opposed to the IMF because of the rules about siphoning off the money they loan those nations. In fact the vast majority of those countries have serious national debt.

  • Billy Bob Thornton

    For Canada, I support the Canadian Action party since I believe yes we can use the Bank of Canada which was brought in under PM King and in the 1930’s, but we can also buy out the private banks which make a profit in Canada and would like to bring in bail-ins which would in essence tax bank account holders at interest.

    The only way for a nation to be able to pay off debts and have full employment is yes to have a similar oil company like Petro Can, have nationalized industries and key industries nationalized and to finally have interest rates low and abolish free trade agreements.

    Left wing nationalism is the only way to guarantee full employment and have living wages. Capitalism in its current form is simply leading the next generation to have a future which is uncertain and definitely precarious.

    Many simply believe there are enough jobs but no society has a never-ending well of jobs. That is merely a cop-out. What Canada needs is a full-on nationalist party like the Canadian Action party to scapegoat the mainstream parties and truly end the debt that was foisted on us starting with PM Trudeau Sr. and to Harper and now with Trudeau. Debt can be removed by a nation. We have puppets leading us.

  • Shebel

    Nothing like a good dose of Socialism to make people equal.

  • Americadies

    So we now see how Hildabeast and the dems will bring America to its new golden age. Let’s face facts, when these illegals come here they bring their failed culture, poor habits, lack of education, lack of skills and this is what the left want for us.

  • tom_billesley

    Cannibalism soon.