Photograph by Meridith Kohut for Bloomberg Businessweek

Venezuela's Shortages of Almost Everything

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    In Caracas, shoppers wait four hours to enter a state-run supermarket that sells food at subsidized prices. Venezuela is suffering from soaring inflation and shortages of basic goods. Practically everything, from shampoo to basic medicines, is hard to get. Almost all consumer goods come from overseas, but the country, with foreign reserves at an 11-year low, can’t afford to import much. Unpaid bills to importers are estimated at $13 billion.

    Photograph by Meridith Kohut for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    Soldiers stand guard as a team from the state-run Superintendent of Fair Prices audits a grocery store in the Los Próceres neighborhood, where many members of the military live.

    Photograph by Meridith Kohut for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    Price auditors at work. For many staples prices are set by the government.

    Photograph by Meridith Kohut for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    Soldiers line up to buy powdered milk at reduced prices offered by the government at the city’s Francisco Miranda Military Airbase. Government loyalists and members of the military are often given access to goods at reduced, “socialist” prices not available to the public.

    Photograph by Meridith Kohut for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    The heart emblem reads “made in Socialism.”

    Photograph by Meridith Kohut for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    At informal markets like this one in Coche, a Caracas slum, shoppers can find goods such as corn flour and cooking oil, but they must pay more than the government-mandated price.

    Photograph by Meridith Kohut for Bloomberg Businessek
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    A shopper carries grocery bags past a wall of pictures of President Nicolás Maduro in El Valle, a slum in Caracas.

    Photograph by Meridith Kohut for Bloomberg Businessweek