We always like to visit supermarkets and markets wherever we travel. The give great insight into how people live. The Venezuelan supermarkets were among the saddest we have ever seen.
For a start, they’re lacking in stuff. There are plenty of vacant shelves, and others that have a first row of, say, canned goods, but nothing in behind. Nationally, the cupboards are bare. Because inflation is so high in Venezuela at the moment, supermarket owners should be hanging on to as little cash as they can (because its value decreases over time) and converting money into inventory instead. They’re not, because they can’t.
When essentials are available, supermarkets limit how much you can buy. Here you can see rice and washing powder is limited to one per person (please, don’t insist!). We’re not sure how formal this rationing is. But we know that TV stations play government advertisements that say it is unpatriotic to hoard.
Finally, though the supply of staples is lacking, the selection of goods, overall, doesn’t imply that the country is poor. Just dysfunctional. There’s an odd juxtaposition of not enough flour, but lots of different flavourings for, we presume, baking or drinks. Even when there’s an abundance though, the products are all one brand, probably a state owned producer.