Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Tales from the breadlines

Two short tales on food lines.

There are breadlines everyday in front of the bakeries that will be making bread. Not all do, some because they cannot deal with the mess and others because, well, they have no flour. The lines start forming around 11 AM or 5 PM. That is that.

The other day I was in El Recreo district and stuck in traffic I watched what is a short line. Yes, a short breadline. I have seen some that are 3, 4, 6 times as long as the one you can see in this Instagram video I posted. Being bored I did make a croquis of that line, to locate the picture below.

This is the little tail on the map below where
it says foto.

On other news, a tale from my cleaning lady.

Now she needs to go a get a number the day before her appointed day for shopping (note: for certain items you can only shop on the day that corresponds to your last number of your ID card). That line to get the number by itself lasts a couple of hours, at least, if you want to be sure to get a number. And then you still need to go early next day and do, at least, another couple of hours standing in line if you want to make sure supplies are not exhausted before your turn comes.

This is already bad enough but it gets worse. See, while they are in line people chat, get comfy, start exchanging phone numbers so they can text each other when things arrive. So far so good. But the bachaqueros, those people making a living out of buying and reselling what they get in line, have noticed. So they play the friendly game without passing for bachaqueros and THEN, when they happen to not get as many number line as they wished for, they start calling people and threaten them if they refuse to give up the number they got.

In other words, within the long line there is a now a surveillance network of bachaqueros that notice who are the weak links and when they do get a number. Then, voila, extortion on those poor friendly souls.


Added in proof: I just learned that the regime is now threatening to close/fine the bakeries that have lines outside. Apparently Maduro says that there is enough flour and that the bakers, in a giant conspiracy I suppose, want to force people in line to give bad propaganda to the regime.

Now I can die, I have seen it all.


  1. Boludo Tejano4:47 AM

    Back to the future, or a flash from the past: Bernie Sanders tells us that food lines in Sandinista Nicaragua are a good thing.
    Bernie Sanders: “It’s funny, sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is, that people are lining up for food. That is a good thing! In other countries people don’t line up for food: the rich get the food and the poor starve to death.”

    Couldn’t you just hear a Chavista honcho informing the public that long food lines are Chavismo’s guarantee that the rich won’t get all the food and that the poor won’t starve to death? Funny thing, the longer the lines, the less food there is.

    In the Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics Department, here we have FAO Food Security Indicators: V_1.1 - Average dietary energy supply adequacy : Venezuela.[100= minimum]
    2009-11 124%
    2010-12 124%
    2011-13 125%
    2012-14* 127%
    2013-15* 128%
    2014-16* 129

    1. Poor Bernie. Leave him alone. He has suffered enough.


    2. Apparently the FAO agency in Caracas gets its CLAP bags home delivered.

  2. The FAO rep in Caracas has been paid off. The UN isn't exactly known for having a rational bureaucracy.

  3. This is how the infamous "Boiling Frog effect" works.. Over time, people start getting used to anything. Long lines, lack of food and medicine, bad public services, crime, murders, drugs, massive corruption, horrible politicians, and even begging for stuff to the criminal regime.

    The situation gets progressively worse and people adjust. If they don't leave the country, they have no option, since there is repression, and a crooked police, guardia and corrupt military. If they complain too much, they may end up in jail, like Leopoldo. And when they go to the streets, nothing changes. So they are discouraged, afraid, and not many go out to protest.

    Next day, they are back in line, begging for some bread or whatever is still available, dealing with vicious bachaqueros, and heading home early before it gets dark, scared of criminals and thieves.

    Next month, next year, it's all the same, or worse. But people are creatures of habit. They adapt, and they even start to think such horrible living conditions are somewhat "normal"

    "No hay pan, no hay leche ni atun,ni huevos, pero si hay harina pan! que chevere! bueno vengo mañana por lo demas" And they sometimes even joke about it with their newly-found friends in the long waiting lines. It becomes a way of life, after years in the same crap.

  4. Times are a changing. Brazil, Argentina, and Peru, with more to come, do not support Chavismo anymore. Hopefully, this outside pressure will isolate Maduro's dictatorship enough, forcing some serious changes. Yes, patience is a tough characteristic to endure with, but it can sometimes be an effective weapon. The French did triumph after their defeat and subjugation by the Nazi's. So will Venezuela survive the depredations of Charisma.

  5. Anonymous8:26 PM

    It seems Maduro has aligned himself with Iran as of late. He feels he can get plenty of support from overseas countries as those around him fail to do so. Mainly money and weapons plus trying to raise oil prices world wide.


Comments policy:

1) Comments are moderated after the sixth day of publication. It may take up to a day or two for your note to appear then.

2) Your post will appear if you follow the basic polite rules of discourse. I will be ruthless in erasing, as well as those who replied to any off rule comment.