four weeks ago the Venezuelan "Minister for Food" denied that 30,000 tons of food had decomposed; now a total of more than four times that amount has been discovered in various sites throughout the country. Chavez has been declaring 'economic war' on 'capitalist' retailers and blaming them for rising food prices; however, what began with a government investigation with the Bolivarian Intelligence Service searching for missing commodities in Venezuela's chief port Puerto Cabello, ended with them 'uncovering the stink of several containers'; since then more and more rotten and out-of-date food is being discovered all over the country. Click on image for "A Scandal Hard To Hide": diagram of locations, dates and weights etc plus an indication of the size of the problem! More on Venezuela's "Agricultural Collapse" at El Universal (Spanish); synopsis from The Devil's Excrement.
Up to 2003, Venezuela was self-sufficient in meat, importing about 1% of its needs, but then the Chavez administration began regulating prices and local producers could not compete with the cheap Government imports.Venezuela now imports 50% of it's meat and this is related in a way to the local butcher's woes reported in the 'economic wars' link above. Anyway, as someone who worked for several years in that industry I find this fact astounding, and sad.
Photo credit: Yunior Lugo