May 2016 – VENEZUELA – The United States is increasingly concerned about the potential for an economic and political meltdown in Venezuela, spurred by fears of a debt default, growing street protests and deterioration of its oil sector, U.S. intelligence officials said on Friday. In a bleak assessment of Venezuela’s worsening crisis, the senior officials expressed doubt that unpopular leftist President Nicolas Maduro would allow a recall referendum this year, despite opposition-led protests demanding a vote to decide whether he stays in office.
But the two officials, briefing a small group of reporters in Washington, predicted that Maduro, who heads Latin America’s most ardently anti-U.S. government and a major U.S. oil supplier, was not likely to be able to complete his term, which is due to end after elections in late 2018. “You can hear the ice cracking. You know there’s a crisis coming,” one U.S. official said. “Our pressure on this isn’t going to resolve this issue.”
Mobs in Venezuela have stolen flour, chicken and even underwear this week as looting increases across the crisis-hit OPEC nation where many basic products have run short, and the U.S. officials said this could spiral into widespread unrest. Soldiers fired tear gas at stone-throwing protesters on Wednesday as Venezuela’s opposition marched to pressure electoral authorities into allowing a recall referendum against Maduro. –Reuters
Running out of food: Lines at supermarkets stretch for blocks on end in Venezuela. Often when you finally make into the store, the “shelves are already barren,” reports many residents. –AP
Over the last several years we have documented with clockwork regularity Venezuela’s collapse into failed state status, which was cemented several weeks ago when news hit that “Venezuela had officially run out of money to print new money.” At that point the best one could do was merely to step back and watch as local society and civilization turned on itself, unleashing what would ultimately turn into Venezuela’s own, sad apocalypse.
As we wrote then these are simply hungry Venezuelans protesting that their children are dying from lack of food and medicine and that they do not have enough water or electricity. As AgainstCronyCapitalism added, this is a country with more oil than Saudi Arabia, and the government has stolen all the money and now they bottleneck peaceful protesters and threaten them with bombs (or haul them to prison and torture them).
As pure desperation has set in, crime has becomes inevitable. A man accused of mugging people in the streets of Caracas was surrounded by a mob of onlookers, beaten and set on fire, who published a pixeled-out but still graphic video of the man burning as mob justice is now the supreme arbiter of who lives and who dies: “Roberto Fuentes Bernal, 42, was reportedly caught trying to mug passersby in the Venezuelan capital, and before police arrived at the scene, the crowd took the law into their own hands.”
Now, in the latest shocking development, Venezuela saw a new wave of looting this week that resulted in at least two deaths, countless wounded, and millions of dollars in losses and damages. According to Panampost, on Wednesday morning, a crowd sacked the Maracay Wholesale Market in the central region of Venezuela. According to the testimonies of merchants, the endless food lines that Venezuelans have been enduring to do groceries could not be organized that day.
As time went by, desperate Venezuelans grew anxious over not being able to buy food. Then they started jumping over the gates and stormed the supermarket. “They took milk, pasta, flour, oil, and milk powder. There were 5,000 people” one witness told Venezuela outlet El Estímulo. People from across the entire state came to the supermarket because there were rumors that some products not found anywhere else would be sold there. As a result of the massive crowd, the authorities were unable to preserve the peace. “There were 250 people for each National Guard officer… lots of people and few soldiers. At least one officer was beat up because he tried to stop the crowd,” another source told El Estímulo.
Other food dispensaries run by the government were also looted by the people. Far from the promised socialist paradise, as the massive group of people moved, an entrance gate collapsed under the weight of the crowd, leaving several wounded. –Info Wars
The dominoes are starting to fall in large numbers. There are a host of other countries that are in serious financial trouble that you may not have even heard about. Without serious reform or aid; they are likely headed for a financial collapse. The repercussions of their collective collapse will be nothing short of a global financial market Armageddon. I warned of this coming nightmare two years ago in my book, Utopia the Collapse. Prepare yourself and get ready. -Alvin Conway