Is Another Period of Scarcity Coming to Venezuela? These Signs Say YES.

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Prices have been somewhat stable since we arrived back in Venezuela, primarily thanks to the usage of hard currency. (When a merchant tries to speculate with prices in USD, people don’t buy.) And the new “conversion,” well, eliminating 12 zeroes is easy for those who don’t understand crap about the economy. 

In the capital city, everything seems to be much cheaper. That includes clothes, plumbing supplies, electric materials, and food not produced locally in our small semi-rural town. Getting new banknotes is not easy yet. In the capital city, Caracas, it’s much easier.

Monitoring the news and being aware of what is happening in the environment is a must these days. A lot is going on that will affect our economy, supply chain, and much more. 

Maduro confidant’s extradition leads to retaliation

Accusations of money laundering by Alex Saab led to his extradition on October 16. Saab is one of the alleged main frontmen of corrupt Venezuelan government network. A close confidant of President Maduro, Saab’s extradition is a deadly blow making him available to U.S. officials for questioning. Maduro currently faces narco-terrorism and drug trafficking charges in New York. If Saab agrees to cooperate, he will help the United States Justice Department make significant progress in the Maduro case. 

In what appears to be retaliation, the Venezuelan government suspended negotiations with U.S. opposition soon after the extradition. They also revoked the Citgo 6 house arrest and put them all back in prison. 

“Saab’s extradition restarts the bad blood between Venezuela and the U.S.,” said Penfold, a global fellow at the Wilson Center in Washington. [source] 

And of course, government policies will also increase prices.

A few weeks ago, we learned of some very unexpected news, with a very negative effect. The Venezuelan government eliminated import tax waivers on nearly 600 items with the alleged intent to “boost and strengthen local production.” 

I find this incredible as the infrastructure hasn’t been capable for decades of producing many of the imported items now being taxed. Experts foresee price increases of things such as milk, coffee, sausage, margarine, and many personal hygiene items, to name a few. They also warn there is a risk of reduction in supply because no one will want to pay taxes to import goods.  

Economist Asdrúbal Oliveros says the effect of the measure is “quite limited” and will not mean an improvement for the national industry. [source]

What measures can be taken to lessen the blow? 

Now that I have defined the causes of what is to come, it’s time to begin immediate planning. I have changed my mindset to ready myself and take the following measures in the weeks to come:

  • Forget about consuming white sugar at the current rate and start using honey and stevia (and I was already getting used to my mom’s weekend cakes :/ )
  • Decrease the consumption of red meats. Though we live in a cattle town, production began dropping a few years ago. It will likely drop further.
  • Prepare up to the last centimeter of the land at our mountain cabin for bean and veggies (easier said than done!)
  • Acquire storage bins suitable for all sorts of raw staples. Not cheap as in other countries; creativity will be necessary here.
  • Dig the reservoir pond
  • Increase consumption of beans
  • Staples to buy in bulk now:
    • Rice
    • Cornmeal
    • Wheat flour
    • Salt and other preservation chemicals to cure meats
    • Dry spices, assorted. (These years could be drier than others, and I’m afraid the plants won’t make it.) 
    • Seeds
    • Coffee: whole beans and dry-canned in glass jars. (Our meager plants are not going to be enough to supply my high consumption rate.)
    • Personal hygiene products
    • Soap
    • Dehydrated products
    • PVC pipes (I have found out a much cheaper way to build water “tanks” with these. And they look better, I think, adequately painted to match)

Local production is key.

Local food production of some basic staples has slowly begun to stabilize after the worst years of 2018-2019. We may need imported stuff in some instances. However, the internet and couriers are useful resources for light things like cattle/poultry medicines and some chemicals or agricultural products.

Also, small, independent national fisheries provide fingerlings of species like tilapia, hake, and some local varieties like cachama, which is very tasty. So, once I have dug the reservoir, I can throw a few of these in there. We could enjoy fresh fish for the next six or seven months, maybe more. And have some extra calcium for the chickens’ feeding.

For resources that are already scarce, I will have to speed up some plans. Some nearby businesses are selling in bulk. But, the exchangers charge a lot because of the fees. And, most of them don’t have any means to charge our international debit cards like merchants in the larger cities do.

Other warning signs

I don’t buy into the contradictory signals, like the border “opening.”

With the last deadly blow to the financial structure of the criminal organization (that deviated monstrous amounts of money stolen from our country), the government is likely to increase repression as a retaliation means. So they opened the bridge. That means we can now (theoretically) transit by car from one country to the other one. This could help some to avoid price increases. But, with the roadblocks and the uniforms receiving bribes all along the roads, forget about it.

Other warning signs are things like diesel prices going up to 0,5$ international price. This means everything will go up in price and could lead to even more food insecurity.

What concerns me most about this is Venezuela is a country with almost one million square km. It’s a large area to cover by horse if you ask me. And yet, there is not even one initiative to deal with this situation and no alternative fuel. 

Update of current post-apocalypse prices

Recently I walked to a nearby warehouse where small merchants shop. I asked for their price list and made a list of the staples we consume the most, not including personal hygiene items. Following is a list of things to cover the basic needs for six for a couple of months, facing this price increase. (NOTE: These prices are for BULK in USD)

  • Powdered milk, 1.8 kg 14$
  • Pasta Vermicelli, 12 kilos 12$
  • Cornmeal (arepas) 20kg 20$
  • Cooking oil 18 L 36$
  • White refined sugar 30 kg 28$
  • Yeast – 1 pound 2.5$
  • Margarine 6 kg 16.60$
  • Mayonnaise 3 kg 9$
  • Sugar cane block – 12kg 10$
  • Bran cookies 1.9$
  • Tetrapak milk 1 L 1.20$
  • Oatmeal, 1 pound 1.20$

I’d still rather be home.

I would still prefer being here than in any other place. No matter how hard things may look like here. There is no fear of having to leave for (another) dark, damp bedroom, even smaller than the previous one. And that is worth all the effort to come back. 

As I write this from my sunny terrace, at 27° Celsius, Kiddo is busy with some homework, and I can hear him whistling. He seems to be happy, AND doing homework…? Oh, did I mention kiddo has already begun at school?

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Stay tuned!

What are your thoughts?

Do you think the economic crisis will continue? What do you think it would take to resolve the issues in Venezuela and allow people to rebuild? What do you feel that we, as Americans, can learn from the fall of Venezuela? Share your thoughts in the comments.

About Jose

Jose is an upper-middle-class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has an old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Jose and his younger kid are currently back in Venezuela, after the intention of setting up a new life in another country didn’t  go well. The SARSCOV2 re-shaped the labor market and South American economy so he decided to give it a try to homestead in the mountains, and make a living as best as possible. But this time in his own land, and surrounded by family, friends and acquaintances, with all the gear and equipment collected, as the initial plan was.

 Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on PatreonDonations: or the BTC address 3QQcFfK9GvZNEmALuVV8D6AUttChTdtReE

J.G. Martinez D

J.G. Martinez D

About Jose Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has a small 4 members family, plus two cats and a dog. An old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Thanks to your help Jose has gotten his family out of Venezuela. They are currently setting up a new life in another country. Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on Patreon. Donations:

Leave a Reply

  • Madre de Dios! Those prices are insane! And I suspect, coming soon here. The tax tariffs put into place by the last administration and kept by the current one have had similar effects: shortages and price increases. Oy.

    Do I assume correctly that you’ve put some kind of rain catchment system in place? Obviously, free water is good and will help keep the garden thriving. And I agree: there’s no place like home. The entire globe is going to hell in a hand basket. We might as well deal with it at home, where the heart is.

    • Dear Jayne,
      Mind you, there is national production to some degree, but with so many need for imports…well…just imagine this: to repair a milling machine for cornmeal you need stainless steel electrodes, for instance. These, albeit we have nickel ore, and iron, is not manufactured in the country. Under a socio-commie regime, no one is going to invest in a plant or something big. Extrapolate that, and it becomes the reason of those prices. I try to not buying anything imported.

  • In this case, as in most SHTF cases, Food Preps are a stop gap measure.
    They will only buy you time, in order for you to get other long term food supplies available.
    Such a a large garden, farm, or to relocate to a better area with more resources.
    Food preps can assist with the transition from an abundant food supply and overconsumption to a minimalist food and minimal food consumption.

    Anyone who does not recognize this concept will eventually come up short (out of food, or a repetitive and limited diet), while still having a rampant appetite and nothing to satisfy it with.
    N. American’s especially, have to much food and to many food choices and are generally spoiled by this and overweight. SHTF will be a great awakening , even for many Preppers.
    food independence is not based upon what you can prep, but by minimalizing your food consumption and in developing sustainable, local, food. Preferably food you produce or hunt for yourself.
    Relying on others to produce and make food available for you, is the exact scenario that so many of us are facing right now. You are just trading one supplier( Government, Corporations, Grocery stores) for the another ( Farmers market, Local Network, etc.).
    Which is fine as long as you are not solely relying upon it and remain alert that it too will probably fail you at some point, so you better have another plan for that scenario.

    So consider carefully, your options and their long term viability. Nothing lasts forever. So never get too comfortable in believing that you have solved all your food problems.

    • Dear Mic,
      You´re right. Some things are being under a heavy rearrangement, as we speak. And it´s quite interesting seeing how most of the people in this little town is coming back; the reason is simple, getting medium term sustainability is going to be much easier in a terrain and climate you already know.

    • “relocate”

      humans originally congregated where the water and food production resources coverged. lately (over the last two hundred years) they’ve been able to live anywhere they wished in disregard of water and food resources. at this point most people live in semi-barren areas that are unable to locally support them no matter how much effort is expended – this includes “rural” areas as well.


      big can of worms there. hunting is both inefficient and hard on the local wildlife which simply will not be able to sustain the number of people who will be preying on it. indian tribes would fight genocidal wars over who would get to hunt the limited resources. prepper groups will have to initiate game preserve laws and enforce them harshly in the face of desperate poaching, or the wildlife will be driven to extinction. just like the wild west had water wars and fence wars, the post-collapse u.s. will have poaching wars.

      • Big difference between hunting and poaching.

        People who hunt are good at it.

        People who poach are typically opportunistic and lazy. Hardly something that will drive wildlife to extinction. Wildlife numbers will decrease, to be sure, but so will the numbers of lazy poachers in a larger proportion.

        • “People who poach are typically opportunistic and lazy. Hardly something that will drive wildlife to extinction.”

          a few thousand will.

          “so will the numbers of lazy poachers in a larger proportion”

          they’ll have guns too.

          • Says someone who would be in the “lazy poacher” group. You know what propper hunters do to poachers? We leave them as food offerings for wildlife. Hunters, good ones, are game managers. Poachers are opportunistic vermin. Poachers have guns, yes. Hunters use them, you bloody muppet.

            • “You know what propper hunters do to poachers?”

              you guys always think you’re the only ones with guns who know how to use them. good luck, dude.

              “you bloody muppet”

              takes second place to “you satanic parasite!”

        • ~Jim,

          Your average American, does not know how to hunt, let alone how to dress out game. A lower % even have good marksmanship skills to be able to take a killing shot.
          Then there is the logistics part of it. SHTF, no fuel, you have to hump it out to where the game is in the first place. Then if you do bag a deer, gotta hump that deer back for processing. Even gutting them out in the field, you might still be carrying/dragging 100lbs or more of dead weight.

          Hunting can go either way. I have known experienced hunters who didn’t take a shot all season.
          Others, bag a deer on opening day.
          I currently have deer tracks I have seen daily, 100yrds from the house.

          • To add, how many people know how to properly salt, cure, smoke?
            Without refrigeration that meat will go bad quick. Without the knowledge and experience of how to process meats, good way to food poison yourself and the family.

            Or, eat what you can, and instead of wasting it, give the rest to the neighbors.

            • “To add, how many people know how to properly salt, cure, smoke?
              Without refrigeration that meat will go bad quick. Without the knowledge and experience of how to process meats, good way to food poison yourself and the family.”

              Excellent point. And 100% accurate.

              There is an old Alaskan guide saying, “Alaska don’t need bears to kill people, people do a magnificent job of that all by themselves.” Botchulinum poisoning being one of those things.

              So many folks I talk to I have to drub their notions of evil sodium nitrate/nitrite out of their noggins. They have no idea about food safety and the absolute necessity of using them so they don’t die because they forgot the products in their meat drawer of the refrigerator.

              Like I told ant7, larger numbers in proportion, to be sure.

          • “Your average American, does not know how to hunt, let alone how to dress out game”

            doesn’t matter. they’ll try. by the thousands.

    • Dear Grammy,
      Maybe it is because of the much lower salaries and price of services (like electricity and water) than in developed countries. Corn is produced here and a basic staple for everyone, for instance; pasta has always been abundant though.

  • “to repair a milling machine for cornmeal you need stainless steel electrodes”

    This is exactly the sort of thing everybody needs to be thinking about. Even if your country has good industrial capacity, there will be lots of things that aren’t manufactured in your country. And, even if it’s manufactured in your country, it won’t matter if distribution has gone to hell and you can’t get it to your neck of the woods.

    What this means is that if one of your friends/aquaintances isn’t a machinist willing to give a go at repairing anything, you need to make such a friend as fast as possible.

    • Dear Doly,
      That´s the reason I´m here writing as much as I can for you all!

      Mind you, that friend machinist with a welder, a milling machine, and a lathe surely is going to have a payload of work once people can´t get their gear and parts from Shenzen, or Shiat Zu, Low Meing, Feng Shui, or wherever they come from.

  • Jose I made a supply run today into town and many of the shelves are bare or at least close to it with many items in short supply here in a rural county in the mountains of NC. I checked out the local Super Walmart that is about a 40 minute drive from our homestead as well as a local Aldis and Food Lion market. There are still some essential dry and conned goods available and no limits put back in place yet though you do get sideways glances when you go to the check out lane with 80 pounds of rice and 60 pounds of sugar in your cart. We had been ordering bulk items to be shipped in but shipping costs are going up and many of the companies that offered free shipping if you met a certain dollar amount have dropped that perk so we now are targeting local only purchases.

    We are our way to meeting our goal of 60 five gallons buckets with various types of flour, beans, grains, rice, pastas, cereals and other items we can still find in bulk sealed away in Mylar bags with O2 absorbers. I do not know how bad things will get especially here locally, but I suspect at least for the first eight months of 2022 the supply chain here in the US will still be basically broken. If you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

    • “you do get sideways glances when you go to the check out lane with 80 pounds of rice and 60 pounds of sugar in your cart”

      it’s an opportunity to explain.

      • Again, you absolute pogue. No one ” explains”. No one has to. And for that matter, do you intend to survive by microwave or the grace of your mother’s kitchen upstairs? Fuck. Do your two braincells constantly nacho libre?

      • As someone who has been on the bottom looking up, financially speaking, base foods(grains, legumes, etc) that require cooking tend to be the most frugal options. Canned foods which can be heat & eat are next up the list. But most “prepper” pre made meal type foods are priced out of budget.

        • “But most “prepper” pre made meal type foods are priced out of budget”

          they are, don’t know how anyone can afford those. but I was thinking more along the lines of quick oats, peanut butter, pasta, and potato flakes.

      • Dear ant7,
        Absolutely! That´s why I brought some seeds from Peru but sadly they didn´t go well. Maybe weather is too hot for them, I couldn´t say. As things down here have changed a lot, food that doesn´t require cooking like salty fish or our own national variation of jerky are relics of the past. No one eats that these days. I´m trying to convince my family to ingest more greenies.

        The fact the list is limited to this, is because it´s what we have been able to get until now. And this being a cattle producing town we have plenty of fruits, eggs, cheese, beef, poultry, pork, butter, cream, milk and everything else fresh. Fish is a little bit more expensive, but twice a week we have people bringing out fresh sardines and other fishes from the seaside, 5 hours away by truck.

    • Dear sawman,
      Based on my experience and the unnerving, scary facts like a Russian-brain washed in charge of your currency policy…well, I would eat my brains out to prepare for an indefinite period of time. Just look at what happened after Hugo died and the mess we have to face now. I prepared for 4-5 months of civilian turmoil and limited mobility given the conditions of my city, but this…there was no way to know the SHTF would came like a tsunami.

  • Prices are going up here. Our propane driver called last month. He warned us that propane prices were going to increase 7 foal by Christmas. We went ahead and topped off. The prices right now are higher than what I paid last month.

    Chicken feed has gone up several dollars just in the last year.

    • Dear Mette,
      Do you have any chance to prepare at least a portion of the chicken feed at home?
      I´ve seen a few videos about this: the pork and chicken feed industry is under control of the uniforms; they generated a black market and make huge (illegal) profits out of this. Seizing the upstream key industries was the first move of these commies, and the only way to oppose them is producing with the same quality, but selling in the grey (preferably local) market. Maybe performance is not the same, but hey…your chickens won´t starve. Let me know if you believe an article about this could be useful for you.

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