Venezuela crisis: Caracas citizens experiencing starving, worthless currency, infant mortality and death reported by Adriana Diaz – CBS News

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Political unrest in Venezuela sparks humanitarian crisis

Citizens picking food out of discarded garbage bags. A mother mourning the death of her infant, lost to malnutrition. A young boy uses paper currency to create a handmade purse, simply because inflation has made money so worthless.

These are some of the scenes witnessed by CBS News’ Adriana Diaz as she walked through the streets of Caracas, Venezuela. As opposition leader Juan Guaid贸 continues to challenge President Nicol谩s Maduro’s claim to be the聽rightful leader of Venezuela, it is the people who suffer from political violence and a crippled economy.

On Sunday, thousands of Venezuelans held a vigil for five people killed in protests that were sparked after Guaid贸 called for a military uprising聽last Tuesday. But the high-level military defections Guaid贸 was counting on never materialized, and Diaz described the protests that followed over the weekend as “lackluster.”

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Traveling through Caracas, Diaz documented scenes of people digging through bags of half-eaten garage for their next meal, their only choice considering the exorbitant cost of food. With inflation at more than 1 million percent, money is basically worthless. One boy showed CBS News how he folds and weaves paper bills to build a makeshift purse, explaining that the money is more valuable as material to make a purse rather than as currency to carry in it and spend.

Perhaps most affecting are the scenes of families wracked by poverty and death. The child mortality rate in Venezuela has more than doubled since 2008. In the best cases, children are fed by humanitarian groups, but not all are so fortunate.

Diaz spoke with Nairobi Sortaga, whose infant son died two months ago from malnutrition and meningitis, weighing only 13 pounds at the age of 1 year old. Inside her impoverished home, a cupboard contained a small bag of lentils to feed Sortaga and her two daughters.

“It’s not my fault,” she said, wiping away tears.

Stories of Hunger in Venezuela
A boy in Caracas, Venezuela, eats soup donated by the Alto Restaurant on April 12, 2019. Local NGOs offer food to those in need, especially elderly people and children, amid the country’s economic crisis. Getty

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The Publisher: Juan Rodulfo, Defined by Nature: Planet Earth Habitant, Human, Son of Eladio Rodulfo & Briceida Moya, Brother of Gabriela, Gustavo & Katiuska, Father of Gabriel & Sofia; Defined by the Society: Venezuelan Citizen (Human Rights Limited by default), Friend of many, Enemy of few, Neighbor, Student/Teacher/Student, Worker/Supervisor/Manager/Leader/Worker, Husband of Katty/ Ex-Husband of K/Husband of Yohana; Defined by the US Immigration System: Legal Alien; Defined by the Gig Economy: Independent Contractor Form 1099; Studies in classroom: Master Degree in Human Resources Management, English, Chinese Mandarin; Studies at the real world: Human Behavior; Studies at home: Webmaster SEO, Graphic Web Apps Design, Internet & Social Media Marketing, Video Production, You Tube Branding, Trading, Import-Exports, Affiliate Marketing, Cooking, Laundry, Home Cleaning; Work experience: Public-Private-Entrepreneur Sectors; Other Definitions: Bitcoin Evangelist, Human Rights Peace and Love Advocate. Author of: Why Maslow: How to use his theory to stay in Power Forever (EN/SP), Asylum Seekers (EN/SP), Manual for Gorillas: 9 Rules to be the 鈥淔er-pect鈥 Dictator (EN/SP) Social Media profiles: Twitter/FB/Instagram/VK/Linkedin/Sina Weibo: @rodulfox