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Our Storm Shortages Are Venezuela’s Normal

Henry Lim Orlando Immigration Attorney and Orlando Sentinel Editorial Advisory Board Member

The days leading up to Hurricane Irma were an exercise in patience for most Floridians. As we prepared our family for the storm, stood in line to purchase two rationed cases of bottled water, and waited in a 12-car-deep line to fill up the gas tank, I found myself comparing. The people of Venezuela experience these shortages and worse every day. Venezuelan grocery stores may contain an aisle of pasta sauce without spaghetti, or nothing at all.

Their shortages are not because of a hurricane, but because of a failed government. This is not merely a weeklong inconvenience in Venezuela, but a way of life. Those of us who survived Hurricane Irma with our families and homes intact must ask ourselves: What if my family were in this situation for years? How would we cope? What would we eat? Recent reports indicate Venezuelans lost 19 pounds on average over the past year due to a lack of food. Income opportunities in Venezuela are scarce, and the cost of surviving is high. Having experienced a sliver of the issues facing Venezuela, we can imagine what it would be like if our hardships were to continue. But gasoline has been delivered, and our local supermarkets have already received shipments of milk and cheese. Our lives are returning to normal. Unfortunately, our weeklong experience is the new normal in Venezuela. Read this article at the Orlando Sentinel

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