Venezuelans on the food and economic crisis blighting their daily lives

By Carmen Fishwick and Guardian readers

Food shortages and soaring black market prices are making life a misery for people across the country

The clubbing districts of Las Mercedes and San Ignacio in Caracas are as packed as ever, despite the economic crisis gripping Venezuela. But there is one notable difference: a lack of Polar beer. Empresas Polar SA, the country’s largest food and beverage company, has halted beer production because, it says in a statement on its website, it cannot obtain the foreign currency it needs to purchase malted barley.

“Nightlife still exists in the city because some people are going out of their way to find a distraction, an escape, from the usual drama the country finds itself involved in. Caracas is hectic, as always, but there is an air of dread pervading the city,” says Luis, a twentysomething programmer from Venezuela’s capital.

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