Desperate Venezuelans swarmed supermarkets on Saturday in a rare chance to stock up on basic goods amid a spiraling economic crisis that has resulted in widespread poverty and food shortages.
Embattled President Nicolás Maduro, who has consistently blamed the nation’s financial woes on low oil prices and a U.S.-led plot to topple his regime, ordered grocery stores to reduce their prices in an effort to fight staggering hyperinflation (Venezuela’s inflation rate reportedly soared to 2,616 percent in 2017.)
The slashed prices prompted mobs of shoppers to flock to the stores, leaving strikingly bare shelves behind.
Maduro came under fire late last year when he was filmed eating an empanada during a live TV address, while millions of his citizens languished in hunger.
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