The Venezuelan economy is collapsing, and the U.N. estimates at least one-tenth of the population has fled the country. Those who remain must contend with the world’s highest rate of inflation as well as power outages and crushing shortages of basic goods.
CGTN correspondent Juan Carlos Lamas shows us one day in his life in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas.
The challenges start as soon as the alarm goes off, with Lamas wondering if he’ll have running water.
Water rationing means only 15 minutes of running water each night. Every night he sets up a bucket of water, so he can always brush his teeth in the morning.
Venezuelans who can afford it buy bottled water for cooking. Each bottle costs $2, a steep price considering the minimum wage in Venezuela is about $5 a month.
Whenever Lamas walks his dog, Nano, he always leaves his phone, watch, and ID at home so that he won’t be robbed.
Caracas is considered the second-most-violent city in the world and murder, robbery and kidnapping are part of daily life.
After walking his dog, it’s time to go to work. Lamas picks up breakfast — 3 cachitos (a pastry), coffee, tortilla, and juice — on the way, which cost 32,000 bolivars or about $10.
Getting cash at an ATM can take hours and the maximum a person a withdraw is 500 bolivars, which is about 15 cents — not enough to buy even a piece of candy which is 2,000 bolivars.
The rest of the day Juan Carlos works as a journalist, which is considered a risky job in Venezuela.
According to the National Union of Press Workers, 106 journalists have been assaulted, imprisoned and hurt by government security forces in the last two months.
After a long day at work, many people go shopping. Basics like aspirin, bandages, and prescription medicines are often impossible to find. So is coffee and dog food.
Shelves for staples such as sugar, toilet paper, and soap, are often empty, and many people pick through garbage to feed their families.
Lamas makes pasta for dinner, and hopes there’s water for a shower the next morning.