Barter activity explodes across Venezuela as failed socialist economic policies leave entire nation on verge of economic collapse






(NaturalNews) While most people think of Facebook and Twitter as a way to share photos and exchange comments for fun and news-sharing reasons, residents in Venezuela are turning to social media for something entirely different – and it’s saddening. There, it’s not uncommon for people to barter for the likes of infant formula, medication, batteries and diapers.

The unfortunate situation isn’t just a phase, either.

It’s a reflection of the dire economic situation in the country, where failed policies have put the area on the edge of financial collapse. The bottom line is that Venezuela gets about 70 percent of its goods from abroad, however, the area’s fast-falling oil prices have prevented the government there from importing. As a result, the economy has shifted to a culture where a black market lifestyle is the norm, and people can expect items to cost upwards of three times their original price.(1)

To escape the corruption and avoid such absurdity, the people have been left with no other choice but to barter on a daily basis. In some instances, people have actually created Facebook swapping sites in which goods can be exchanged. Yannilay Liendo is one such person; she’s a 16-year-old who created Super Anti-Bachaqueo Truekes, which essentially translates to “Super Anti-Gouger Swap,” where more than 1,000 members remain active.(1)

What it’s come down to: social media swapping sites and businessmen clamoring for tampons

She says she created the swapping page out of desperation, mainly because she had a hard time finding food, even in her own neighborhood. However, a pharmacy close by had things like shampoo and soaps, which other people needed. Thus, her idea was born.(1)

There’s even a Twitter handle, @spvzla, which some 14,000 people are following in order to trade and barter medicine. Additionally, others turn to the WhatsApp group, “Searching for Diapers.”(1)

It’s also a normal sight to witness businessmen clamoring for tampons when a shipment arrives. In some cases it’s for their wives, but many of the men have said they hope to trade the tampons for other toiletries.(1)

Government’s bizarre approach to situation is destroying people’s health

As for medications and providing life-saving treatments to people there, has reported that “Bills have piled up to the tune of some $245 million — and that doesn’t include money owed to drug companies, maintenance firms or other health careproviders [sic].” Unfortunately, about 15 percent of Venezuela’s cancer patients are dying, thanks to a socialist government that doesn’t allow hospitals to release drug shortage details, but instead places the blame on the people who are smuggling items.(2)

Furthermore, pharmacists and other medical experts find themselves in a difficult situation: they’re required to stay open despite not having medicines to provide. All the while people don’t have access to treatment in the first place. It’s all simply ludicrous.(2)

And even though this trade and barter system may seem successful, it’s really just creating stress and a horrible way of life for Venezuelans. First of all, it’s important to remember the reason this way of life exists there in the first place: a failed economy that’s so bad that the Venezuelan government doesn’t even bother to release its monthly “scarcity index” anymore – mainly because percentage rates have already fallen to alarmingly low levels. Shortages are typical, and many people go long periods of time without everyday items such as coffee or sugar.(1)

“In my house we don’t even know what a bean looks like anymore,” says 57-year-old Jose Gomez. “It’s been eight months since I’ve been able to buy deodorant.”(1)

Why this matters in America, and why we need to take action now

So, why does this matter here in America? Not only should it be part of our human nature to care about the welfare of others, no matter where in the world they live, but the reality is that it could also happen to us in the United States.

Natural News editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, has long warned that America is teetering on the edge of a similar economic collapse. He maintains that in the United States the relationship between cheap fossil fuels and a cheap food supply will put us on the brink of starvation and ultimately lead to shortages and revolutions.(3)

The time is now to take steps to ensure your family’s protection. Remain educated about these world happenings; always ask questions; do whatever is necessary to practice self-sustainability where you live (listen to the Health Ranger’s report on permaculture here), and remember, the government works for you – not the other way around.

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