As conditions in Venezuela continue to deteriorate the armed forces begin to tighten their grip on the food supply. One eye witness testifies of how two trucks loaded with soldiers pulled up outside his butcher shop in the Barrio Unión slum of eastern Caracas it left him with a deep unease. “They went into all the stores in the area, forcing us to sell at a loss,” says Daniel, not his real name, reporting on an incident that took place earlier this month.
Excerpt From Financial Times:
The army men demanded that Daniel sells his beef at 250 bolívares (roughly $0.25 at black market rates) a kilo, even though he explained it cost 3,000 bolívars to buy from his suppliers. “They told me the beef belonged to the people and stayed seven hours as a massive line formed outside. This was militarized,” said Daniel, originally from Portugal. Later he saw television news reports of the coup attempt in Turkey: “My first thought was that the same thing was also happening here.” As socialist Venezuela faces its worst economic crisis in living memory, the country’s armed forces, under the command of defense minister General Vladimir Padrino López, have emerged as a key player.