Miriam Ramos sports low-heeled shoes to go grocery shopping these days because with basic food staples becoming harder to find in Venezuela, she knows she's in for a hike.
On grocery store shelves, products from sugar to eggs have been particularly scarce. Supporters and opponents of President Hugo Chavez disagree on the causes, but the result is the same: a frustrating shopping trip for many.
"This is a disaster — there are no eggs, there's no powdered milk, nothing," said Ramos, a 69-year-old retiree, visibly upset. "I need skim milk but because I can't find any, I'm drinking calcium with water. This is like Cuba."
Venezuelan grocery stores have sporadically suffered shortages of some foods since 2003, when Chavez imposed price and currency controls that producers say strangle profits and create supply glitches.
CHAVEZ IS DOING TO VENEZUELA WHAT FIDEL DID TO CUBA AND MUGABE TO RHODESIA.
PROVING ONCE AGAIN THAT SOCIALISM IS THE ROAD TO SERFDOM.