"We old people will die because we can't find the medicine" - Caracas resident
Friday, March 28, 2014 - 01:23
March 28 - Caracas residents scramble to survive as Venezuela's economy deteriorates with a lack of basic necessities. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
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The line goes on as far as the eye can see.
With food and medical shortages, life can an uphill battle in Venezuela -- especially with a 57 percent inflation rate.
(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) COROMOTO TORRES, RESIDENT AND CONSUMER SAYING:
"Of course the shortage is affecting me -- because you go to the market or the corner store, and you find nothing, and if they sell you something, it is only flour or rice. When you have a big family what do you do with just flour or rice? There is not enough for one week and those people who have to work lose a day because, if we have to wait in the line to buy food, we miss a day and they take it off at work."
It's not just food. Medicine is also in short supply.
Venezuela imports about 60 percent of all medication. There are so few dollars available to purchase these items that orders have dried up.
Now... some fear for their lives.
(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) JOSE GONZALEZ, SUFFERS FROM HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND CAN NOT FIND HIS MEDICATION ANYWHERE, SAYING:
"No place has medicine. Here in Caracas, no place. I came from the other side of the city and I can't find it. We old people will die because we can't find the medicine what are we to do? We'll have to die."
President Nicolas Maduro says right-wing opponents and unscrupulous businessmen are trying to sabotage the economy by hoarding products.
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