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Caracas resident: "If we have lunch, we don't have dinner."

Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 01:30

Scores are learning to live without in Venezuela, as an economic crisis is forcing some to slash meals, while the government imposes a shorter work week. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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Ana Perez is doing what she can. Like scores of others, she is struggling to put food on the table. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CARACAS RESIDENT, ANA PEREZ, SAYING: "If we have lunch, we don't have dinner. If we have dinner, we don't have lunch. Sometimes we go to bed without eating, with a glass of water. You can withstand that, but the children? The children can't stand it. But when there is no food, we have to put them to bed like that, drinking water -- but the children cry." And it is not just the price of food -- getting it is becoming increasingly difficult in the OPEC country that is home to some 30 million people. A recent survey by universities often critical of the government found that 87 percent of the respondents said they didn't make enough money to buy food. In parts of the country stories are being ripped open -- victims of massive looting. Scores are arrested for stealing food and soap. Foes are stepping up pressure to recall President Nicolas Maduro. He's fighting back, implementing a temporary two-day work week for government workers. He's not cutting their pay. He's hoping to save energy costs. It's a growing crisis -- with more people eating less, while waiting for answers.

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Caracas resident: "If we have lunch, we don't have dinner."

Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 01:30