Venezuela faces mass looting amid heightened tensions

Inflation and food shortage have resulted in looting across Venezuela as people wait in queues for hours to get their basic needs.

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

A pedestrian stands next to a refrigerator destroyed in a night of looting, in El Valle neighborhood in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, April 21, 2017.

Inflation and shortage of food, medicine, and other basic goods have caused mass looting across Venezuela amid heightened tensions.

Crowds of people driven by hunger have looted dozens of supermarkets, restaurants and cargo trucks following the chaos of mass demonstrations in the country.

"Vandalism ruined everything, they burned everything, destroyed everything." said Leon Silva, resident of Valencia.

"Today, we are hungry and tomorrow we will be hungrier still because there is nothing." Mahalys Olivero said.

People have waited in long queues to buy basic supplies while restaurants in cities like Valencia remain closed.

Over the past few weeks, protestors have been leaving a trail of destruction around the country which has been suffering from a deep economic crisis.

TRT World’s Christine Pirovolakis reports the crisis in Venezuela.

Women protest

Dressed in white and chanting "Liberty!", tens of thousands of women opposed to Venezuela's socialist President Nicolas Maduro marched on Saturday, holding out roses to security forces who blocked their way.

The women's marches, which took place in most major cities around the country, were the latest in a series of protests against Maduro whom opponents decry as a dictator who has ruined the economy.

Venezuelan opposition leader Maria Corina Machado (C) attends the women's march. (Reuters)

In Caracas, marchers sang the national anthem and shouted "We want elections!"

They also want the government to free scores of jailed activists, allow humanitarian aid from abroad to offset a brutal economic crisis, and respect the independence of the legislature where the opposition won a majority in 2015.

The protesters were halted at various points by lines of policewomen and National Guard troops with armoured cars.