The Herald reports:
With more oil reserves than anywhere else in the world, Venezuela should be drowning in riches.
Instead, the country, and its 30 million inhabitants are on the brink of collapse: financially, and, for many, physically.
In Caracas, the capital, men scavenge daily in the putrid Guaire River.
They pour down from the barrios, raking their hands through stinking, toxic mud in the hopes of finding the tiniest bit or metal, jewellery — anything of value — that they could sell for food.
Maduro’s leftist government has cut food and medicine imports by more than 70 per cent since 2013 to preserve limited resources for debt payments.
In a bid to hold onto his power, President Maduro last week decreed a 40 per cent increase in the minimum wage to try to contain the crisis, in the wake of the food protests.
Last weekend, the government forced more than 200 supermarkets in Caracas to lower prices, causing huge lines to form outside as Venezuelans jumped at the chance to stretch their scant funds.