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"I Haven't Eaten Meat In 2 Months" - Venezuelan Oil Workers Are Collapsing From Hunger On The Job

Could you and yours continue on like this , like they have , for as long as they have , with what you had stocked away ?
Do you live close enough to others of like mind that you could reasonably help each other for a protracted real life event such as this one ?

So what are you going to do to rectify those short-comings ?


"I Haven't Eaten Meat In 2 Months" - Venezuelan Oil Workers Are Collapsing From Hunger On The Job

by Tyler Durden
Thu, 02/22/2018 - 22:15

Those who are unfamiliar with Venezuela’s unprecedented economic collapse might be surprised to learn that the country’s oil production has only slowed, even as the price of a barrel of crude has risen in most international markets.

Unsurprisingly (it’s Venezuela), there’s a macabre explanation for this phenomenon: The workers at PDVSA - Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, which once showered Venezuelans with oil wealth - are literally collapsing due to hunger and exhaustion as workers defy their government handlers and flee their jobs in their desperation as the value of their pay has been completely erased.

Bloomberg spoke with several workers in Venezuela’s oil industry about the harsh conditions they face on a daily basis.

Of course, oil workers aren’t the only ones suffering: The situation in Venezuela is getting so dire that ordinary Venezuelans are losing tons of body weight because of the food shortages. Many can no longer afford to buy meat.

One worker told Bloomberg about how his weekly salary barely pays for the corn flour he mixes with water and drinks every morning.

At 6:40 a.m., Pablo Ruiz squats at the gate of a decaying refinery in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela, steeling himself for eight Sisyphean hours of brushing anti-rust paint onto pipes under a burning sun. For breakfast, the 55-year-old drank corn-flour water.

Ruiz’s weekly salary of 110,000 bolivares — about 50 cents at the black-market exchange rate — buys him less than a kilo of corn meal or rice. His only protein comes from 170 grams of canned tuna included in a food box the government provides to low-income families. It shows up every 45 days or so.

“I haven’t eaten meat for two months,” he said. “The last time I did, I spent my whole week’s salary on a chicken meal.”

Hunger is hastening the ruin of Venezuelan’s oil industry as workers grow too weak and hungry for heavy labor. With children dying of malnutrition and adults sifting garbage for table scraps, food has become more important than employment, and thousands are walking off the job. Absenteeism and mass resignations mean few are left to produce the oil that keeps the tattered economy functioning.

Researchers at three Venezuelan Universities reported losing on average 11 kilograms (24 lbs) in body weight last year and almost 90% now live in poverty, according to a new university study on the impact of a devastating economic crisis and food shortages. That annual survey has become a key barometer of the country’s economic stress since the government stopped releasing reliable economic data, as Reuters reports.

Per Reuters, over 60% of Venezuelans surveyed said that during the previous three months they had woken up hungry because they did not have enough money to buy food. About a quarter of the population was eating two or less meals a day.

After winning the presidency in 1999, leftist President Hugo Chavez was proud of improving Venezuela’s social indicators as the country’s economy was bolstered by oil-fueled welfare policies.

But his successor President Nicolas Maduro, who has ruled since 2013, has allowed corruption to flourish. And his political allies have mismanaged the economy to such a degree that the collapse in the price of oil during 2014 had ruinous consequences.

Even as the price of crude has begun to creep materially higher, the situation in Venezuela is only getting worse.

In contemporary Venezuela, currency controls restrict food imports, hyperinflation eats into salaries, and people line up for hours to buy basics like flour.

As a result, 90% of Venezuelans live in poverty.

In what appears to be a last-ditch effort to rescue the country’s economy and his regime, President Nicolas Maduro yesterday began sales of the Petro, Venezuela’s oil-backed cryptocurerency. The launch was so successful, Maduro has assured the public, that he is considering launch a “Petro Oro” - a cryptocurrency backed by gold reserves.

But perhaps even more shocking than the dire circumstances under which PDVSA’s remaining employees go to work every day is the contrast with the country’s prosperous past, as Bloomberg describes it…

For decades, PDVSA was a dream job in a socialist petro-state. The company supplied workers not only with a good living and revolutionary-red coveralls, but cafeterias that served lunches with soup, a main course, dessert and freshly squeezed juice. Now, the cafeterias are mostly bare, the children are hungry and employees are leaving to work as taxi drivers, plumbers or farmers. Some emigrate. Some hold out as long as they can.

...Now, instead of enjoying the trappings of a comfortable, middle-class life (not to mention freshly squeezed fruit juice), desperate employees are risking the government’s wrath - and possibly sacrificing their chance at a government pension someday - to escape not only from their jobs, but from Venezuela.

Those who quit without notice risk losing their pensions, as bureaucrats refuse to process paperwork. Many managers live in terror of arrest since the Maduro regime purged the industry, imprisoning officials from low-level apparatchiks to former oil ministers. In one human resources office, a sign advertised a limit of five resignations a day.

"Management is holding them back to stop brain and technical drain," said Jose Bodas, general secretary of United Federation of Venezuelan Oil Workers. He estimates 500 employees have resigned at the Puerto La Cruz refinery and nearby processing facilities in the past 12 months - even though superiors have labeled them "traitors to the homeland," a phrase that often precedes arrest. In the streets, families sell their boots and the red coveralls.

"They’re giving up because of hunger," Bodas said. "They’re leaving because they get paid better abroad. This is unheard of, a catastrophe."

In a nightmarish reflection of what life must’ve been like in some of the most poverty stricken areas of the Soviet Union, widespread adsenteeism is forcing those who stay behind to work long hours at the state’s insistence - without any additional compensation.

Sitting in the living room of his house, on his day off, Endy Torres says he has lost 33 pounds over the past 18 months. He shows his PDVSA identification photo as proof: a chubby-cheeked man, weighing 176 pounds.

Ten years ago, he joined the company expecting an ample salary and comfortable pension. Today, his 700,000 bolivars per month, plus a food bonus of 1.6 million bolivars (about $9.50 altogether) can’t fill the fridge at his grandmother’s house, where he lives.

About 10 people from his department resigned in January. There are 263 plant operators remaining and 180 vacancies at the Puerto La Cruz refinery, he said.

Absenteeism forces those who show up to work extra hours and burn precious calories. The lack of investment in equipment and maintenance has increased technical failures, almost all in the early hours of the morning, he said. When they occur, workers are too fatigued to act quickly, and accidents occur.

And the worst part of it all is: Even if oil prices make a surprise comeback, years of favoritism, corruption and - now - international sanctions mean it’s unlikely Venezuela’s oil industry will suddenly blossom once again: For those who stay behind, the formerly wealthiest country in Latin America will probably remain mired in poverty, for as long as it’s ruled by a corrupt autocracy.


  • It's heart wrenching what's going on there, and it's been going for for way too long. I'm a big believer in helping out own first, but it's actually a bit evil to ignore what's happening there. I remember reading a COUPLE YEARS AGO about animals starving to death in the zoo, but don't worry about the animals....people were breaking in, killing the animals and eating them.
    I think the powerful nations of the world need to step uo, they did for Puerto Rico, this is probably worse and much longer term.
  • 2 meals a day huh? Don't sound so bad considering the fact that MANY times growing up, school lunch was what I got, ALL I got. Still to this day do I rarely eat more than once per day. MANY children HERE in our OWN damn nation are in that VERY same boat, it ain't called starvation, it's called POVERTY, welcome aboard Venezuela. At the age of 6, during summer months, while mom was at work, my ass was in the damn woods with a single shot bolt action .22 popping caps at ANYTHING furry, feathery, or shelled just so mom and me Would have a good soup to eat. (Yeah, pops was a fuck stick at times) I remember how we couldn't wait until the end of the month for that cardboard box full of canned goods, noodles, and big ole hunks of government cheese, I still crave that cheese, it ROCKED. You know what all of that done to me? It made me harder than a brick-bat. Thank you dear Lord for the uncomfortable lifestyle you handed upon me which will ease my suffering during your days of vengeance. AMEN. As for the original question, what would I do NOW, with EVERYONE, around me even the rich folks living that way? Exactly what I do now, teach folks how to live off the land, however, my prices would be drastically adjusted in a manner that would accommodate the starving masses. Cause see, even if you don't believe in THE Creator, HE believed in YOU, and has provided EVERYTHING the human body needs for survival, simply gotta walk your lazy ass over to it and stick it in your mouth, chew, swallow, repeat. If you grew up believing meat and vegetables come from the grocery store because your parents had more dollars than cents (sense), that ain't my damn problem and I don't feel sorry for you if you're to stupid to use SOME of those dollars for an education. The issues in Venezuela are caused by exactly that, stupidity. In the cases where folks was ALREADY poor BEFORE the Venezuela "crisis", yup, STILL stupidity. Here's why: Umm, hey dumbass, ruck the fuck up and go get some grub, it's ALL out there, it has been provided for you. Stop participating in a society that only pays you cornmeal when you can kill a steak.
  • Where did it say they were getting 2 meals a day? I read (if they were lucky) some would get a glass of corn flour in water. It's not the people of Venezuela that are responsible for the situation, it's their corrupt government. No doubt our own should come first, but you look at the money throws at situations that are by no means deserving (Is real comes to mind) well, if pull the plug on that crap.
  • Decided to experiment and get some emergency grub at dollar tree. Found this giant can of beans. 800 calories.
    2448 x 3264 - 2M
  • Make sure your shelter hasn’t open ends if you eat all of those beans, TLP
  • :D

    I'm heading straight to Mike's!
  • .....Well if that's what it takes to finally get you out here, face west , drop yer britches and flick your BIC !!!

    I'll be waiting with a bucket of ice for your now hairless ass..... :D
  • Lol, not exactly the point I was after there GunsOf , but, here's where it says 2 meals ;....... "Per Reuters, over 60% of Venezuelans surveyed said that during the previous three months they had woken up hungry because they did not have enough money to buy food. About a quarter of the population was eating two or less meals a day."
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