Valentina Oropeza, Ernesto Tovar
At a popular east Caracas bakery, customers can buy Spanish olive oil, Italian tomato sauce and even American chocolates. But bread? Forget it. Cardboard signs on the door warning of "No bread" have become increasingly common at Venezuelan bakeries. Venezuela gets 96 percent of its foreign currency from oil exports, and as crude prices have plunged, so have the country's imports -- among them wheat. The leftist government of President Nicolas Maduro has tightly controlled access to hard currency, and this has affected imports ranging from medicine to toilet paper. Now it is seriously affecting imports of wheat, which Venezuela does not grow.
Add to this the soaring inflation rate -- 181 percent in 2015, the world's highest -- and you see why customers are mainly interested in buying basic food items such as bread. The few bakeries that can still get a hold of a 50-kilogram (110-pound) sack of flour to make bread limit their sales to just two "canillas" -- thin half-baguettes -- per person three times a day......
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My Take - It's going to get a lot worse too. Venezuelan oil is thick and filled with contaminants, making it hard to refine. There are few places they can sell their oil and the U.S. is one of them. But we don't need their oil and oil from fraking isn't just sweet and light - it's really sweet and light. So guess what? Their only export resource is now almost worthless and all those billions they made under this idiotic socialist regime when the price of oil was high has been wasted on promoting socialism in South America. One more thing. There is no way they can export to the South of their country because of geography and a serious lack of transportation, including railroads. So where's Sean Penn now?
There's a serious revolution brewing in Venezuela.