NEWS
11/01/2018 4:26 AM IST | Updated 11/01/2018 4:26 AM IST

Photos Of Empty Grocery Shelves Show Dire Situation In Venezuela

Bloomberg/Getty Images
Nearly empty shelves at a store in Caracas, Venezuela.

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.

  • Bloomberg/Getty Images
    A customer pushes a shopping cart past an empty meat counter at a grocery store in Caracas, Venezuela, on Jan. 9, 2018. Hordes of desperate shoppers emptied supermarkets and bodegas after the government ordered hundreds of grocery stores slash their prices in the latest attempt to stem hyperinflation.
  • Bloomberg/Getty Images
    Employees work behind empty counters in a store's deli section.
  • Bloomberg via Getty Images
    Limited supplies of vegetables were quickly scarfed up.
  • Bloomberg/Getty Images
  • Bloomberg via Getty Images
    An empty refrigerator unit at a grocery store in Caracas.
  • Bloomberg/Getty Images
  • Bloomberg/Getty Images
    Beauty products sit on otherwise near empty shelves.
  • Marco Bello / Reuters
    A woman selects goat cheese from near-empty shelves.
  • Marco Bello / Reuters
    A woman walks past empty shelves at a store's fruit and vegetables section.
  • Marco Bello / Reuters