Venezuela is feeling the aftershock of a tanked economy after the authoritarian socialist regime known as “Chavismo” failed mightily, leaving the majority of Venezuelans struggling to survive and get enough to eat. Recent data from Simón Bolívar University has found that 87 percent of Venezuelans have reported not having enough money to buy food, and that 72 percent of monthly wages are being used to purchase food.
In the last two weeks alone, there have been 50 food riots across the country as gangs wage war, making streets unsafe, according to an in-depth report by The New York Times. Grocery stores, after being repeatedly looted and ransacked by thousands of hungry people, are now being paroled by armed guards.
Meanwhile, just a few miles away from slum cities like Petare, the uber-rich, who are the only ones benefitting from the economic collapse of an entire country, are sipping Champagne and throwing lavish parties at country clubs.
A photo expose from The Daily Mail shows tables laden with sweets and chocolates at the Caracas Country Club, where annual membership costs more than 450 times the average Venezuelan salary. Other photos show empty shelves inside grocery stores, people scavenging for food in the streets, and dogs with prominent ribs poking through their fur.
“Those rich people are thieves. They are government cronies and they stole the country's money,” Vanessa, 36, who earns $20 a month as an analyst at an electrics company told The Daily Mail. “They don't want anything to change, or they would lose their high lifestyle.”