Venezuela Faces Shortages in Grocery Staples

By 6:30 a.m., a full hour and a half before the store would open, about two dozen people were already in line. They waited patiently, not for the latest iPhone, but for something far more basic: groceries. “Whatever I can get,” said Katherine Huga, 23, a mother of two, describing her shopping list. She gave a shrug of resignation. “You buy what they have.” Venezuela is one of the world’s top oil producers at a time of soaring energy prices, yet shortages of staples like milk, meat and toilet paper are a chronic part of life here, often turning grocery shopping into a hit or miss proposition.

If the economy is this messed up with oil at historic highs, what happens if oil drop by 10% or 20%? Price controls don’t work. As far as I can tell, Chavez’s has turned to really radical and awful price controls to reign in inflation. They should be raising interest rates to control inflation and opening up to free trade.