Citizen Action Monitor

What shortage? Video tour of giant Caracas supermarket reveals packed shelves, exposing US media lies

“The real problem is hoarding and speculation by the wealthy in Venezuela who are taking advantage of the economic crisis created by the US.”

No 2439 Posted by fw, February 22, 2019

“Okay, so I had a pretty normal experience at the supermarket. I was able to get pretty much everything that I usually get back home in the States, including like this bag of craft beer, until my credit card didn’t work and I had to pay in cash. I paid in dollars. And that really shows what the problem is here – that I had to pay in dollars. There isn’t an issue here with food distribution or food scarcity. The issue is the buying power of Venezuelans has been completely destroyed because their currency has been so badly weakened by hyperinflation, speculation and the flood of dollars that the government can’t control here, as well as hoarding by private capitalist elements that support the opposition and are making a ton of money off of this kind of economic war. And that’s something you really won’t know if you watch US media on Venezuela. And that’s why we’re here, the Grayzone to break the media blockade.”Max Blumenthal, Grayzone Project

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of several books. He has produced print articles for an array of publications, many video reports, and several documentaries, including Killing Gaza. Blumenthal founded The Grayzone in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America’s state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions.

Below is an embedded copy of Max’s 6:13-minute video tour of a supermarket in Caracas, followed by my transcript of his narration, including a short exchange with a bemused clerk. As well, I have added a few captured images from the video and a photo of a poyo crispy sandwich.

Alternatively, to watch the video on the Grayzone’s website, sans transcript, click on the following linked title.

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VIDEO: Investigating Venezuela’s ‘Humanitarian Crisis’: Max Blumenthal Tours a Supermarket in Caracas by Max Blumenthal, Grayzone Project, February 21, 2019

The corporate media claims Venezuela has no basic food or supplies, so The Grayzone investigated — at a giant supermarket in Caracas.

It is evident from this video tour of a supermarket in Caracas that there is no shortage of food or basic needs including pet food in Venezuela. The US media is telling people in the United States that there is a crisis and humanitarian aid is urgently needed. Blumenthal shows the real problem is hoarding and speculation by the wealthy in Venezuela who are taking advantage of the economic crisis created by the United States. The flood of dollars coming from Venezuelans in the US causing hyper-inflation is the problem. The Grayzone breaks the media blockade with their consistent reports showing people in the US the reality of life in Venezuela — the reality that US media and politicians are hiding in order to manufacture consent for US intervention.

TRANSCRIPT

00:00 — Nick Valencia, CNN Correspondent – And what is on the plane are basic goods, things that aren’t available or accessible in Venezuela. Things like nutritional biscuits, toothpaste, toothbrushes – just basic commodities that aren’t available or readily available to Venezuelans right now because of the regime that they’re currently living under.

00:16 – Max Blumenthal — We’re at a supermarket in Caracas called Gamma. I feel lost in this supermarket, coming here in Caracas. This is cheese. There’s a lot of cheeses and meats here. People here like me. And there’s a lot of meats. Fish heads, fish heads, rollie pollie fish heads. Okay we got like congealed meat. We got like so much meat. There’s a lot of meat here.

A lot of tomato sauce. See, the aisles are pretty full of stuff. I mean they have a whole aisle for pastas. A lot of people of love yogurt here. [Sarcastically] — The cruelty of this dictatorship prevents them from having zero percent Greek yogurt.

There’s energy drinks, all kinds of drinks, Sugars. I don’t know what this says. Does it say Maduro is using hunger as a weapon to enforce communism among his people to make children – he’s forcing children to smile?

01:34 — Here you can see something serious with the speculation is the pet food. Pet food is here. This one [package] cost 66,000 bolivares, which is over $20. That’s the problem here. The problem isn’t scarcity. The problem is inflation and speculation brought on by the capitalist class of this country.

poyo crispy

Got my toilet paper. This will help with the poyo crispy sandwich that I just ate. This toilet paper has chamomile which relaxes your butt. And them aloe vera will cool your butt off.

[More sarcasm] — There’s a lot of eggs over there. There’s some broken eggs over here. Wasting food in the Maduro dictatorship – just throwing it away.

This is the fruit section. We got a lot of mangoes. I don’t know what that is. I learned this in camp [Max juggles fruit].

Does this have chamomile and aloe vera? Oh, it has chamomile. Chamomile and Manzanilla. Thank you, Maduro.

Now we’re in the pharmaceutical section. [Inserted is a repeated mocking video clip of CNN guy – “Toothpaste. Toothbrushes…“… just basic commodities that aren’t available or readily available to Venezuelans right now because of the regime that they’re currently living under.”]

Max: — Oh, aloe vera – that’ll match with my toilet paper – the aloe vera. Finally found my shampoo and conditioner. Took me like a while to do that because there are so many varieties. Damn you, Maduro!

We’re now in the pharmacy. [Speaking to a clerk in Spanish] – “No algo con aloe vera in Manzanilla?” Pinche Maduro. [Sarcasm again, Max speaks in Spanish to clerk with on-screen English subtitle] – “It’s not a socialist market where everything is free?” [Clerk says No]. Max says in Spanish with English subtitle – “It’s a lie that everything is socialism in Venezuela?” Clerk replies “Si”.

Max “The prices of some things are bad because of speculation? By the capitalists from Colombia? [Clerk agrees]. “It’s sad,” says Max.

beer

4:00 – All right. Now finally we get to get maybe some beers. There’s actually a lot of new beers coming on to the Venezuelan market. They’re kind of getting into craft beer. Then over here we got all the rums. Got wine. A good decent wine selection. They have some Chilean wines here. What the hell is that? Olive oil is really expensive. This right here is 85,000 bolivares and that is about almost $30 for that. So then that’s all speculation. These are products that come from the outside and people are hoarding them here and speculating and making a tone of money. There’s some really fine stuff over here. This is 18-year scotch. All kinds of whiskey. Stuff I’ve never heard of. The Portuguese, Chilean, Argentinian and French champagne, Spanish champagne.

In Venezuela, I have unlimited buying power because I have dollars and the dictatorship of the dollar controls the world.

Okay, so I had a pretty normal experience at the supermarket. I was able to get pretty much everything that I usually get back home in the States, including like this bag of craft beer, until my credit card didn’t work and I had to pay in cash. I paid in dollars. And that really shows what the problem is here – that I had to pay in dollars. There isn’t an issue here with food distribution or food scarcity. The issue is the buying power of Venezuelans has been completely destroyed because their currency has been so badly weakened by hyperinflation, speculation and the flood of dollars that the government can’t control here, as well as hoarding by private capitalist elements that support the opposition and are making a ton of money off of this kind of economic war. And that’s something you really won’t know if you watch US media on Venezuela. And that’s why we’re here, the Grayzone to break the media blockade.

6:13 THE END

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