Venezuelans protest over pork shortage, Maduro blames Portugal
CARACAS (Reuters) – Hundreds of Venezuelans took to the streets in poor parts of Caracas overnight to protest a shortage of pork for traditional Christmas meals in the latest symptom of social discontent during a brutal economic crisis.
President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government had promised to provide subsidized meat to Venezuelans at the end of a fourth year of recession in the OPEC nation – but in many parts it did not materialize and frustration has boiled over.
Local media and Twitter users posted images of hundreds of people standing on streets and burning trash in Caracas late on Wednesday complaining about the failed pork deliveries.
Some pockets of protests continued on Thursday morning, in what some social media users dubbed the “pork revolution”.
Maduro, who has been alleging a foreign-led “economic war” against his government, went on state TV to blame Portugal for failing to deliver pork imports in time for Christmas.
“What happened to the pork? They sabotaged us. I can name a country: Portugal,” Maduro said.
“We bought the pork, signed the agreements – but they pursued the bank accounts of the boats,” he added, without giving further details.
Another senior official said Washington, which has imposed sanctions on the Maduro government, had leant on Lisbon.