Cumaná in the News (For All the Wrong Reasons)

The New York Times spends some time pateando calle in Cumaná a week after the Eastern city was rocked by the worst riots of the crisis yet.

Between the brutal collapse in goods imports to pay Venezuela’s bond debt and the endless hurdles to private sector food production, there just aren’t enough of the right calories to go around. The NYT’s Nick Casey picks up the latest popular outcry from Cumaná in this article.

The article doesn’t just talk about the big story, though, it takes time to delve into the personal tragedies behind it, too:

In the refrigerator of Araselis Rodriguez and Nestor Daniel Reina, the parents of four small children, there was not even corn flour — just a few limes and some bottles of water.

The family had eaten bread for breakfast and soup for lunch made from fish that Mr. Reina had managed to catch. The family had nothing for dinner.

It has not always been clear what provokes the riots. Is it hunger alone? Or is it some larger anger that has built up in a country that has crumbled?

It’s hard to tell. But one thing is clear, social tensions will continue to rise in the coming months unless food supply is stabilized. Unfortunately, there is little to suggest that it will.

Frank Muci

Frank is a public policy and development researcher in Cambridge, MA.