A small army of red-shirted workers mop the linoleum floors as their supervisors, sitting under a giant portrait of Hugo Chavez, look on. By the meltdown standards of Venezuela’s economy, the shelves around the workers at the state-run Bicentenario supermarket in eastern Caracas are brimming with staples like rice and pasta.
Text Hannah Dreier | Photos Ariana Cubillos Fernando Llano and Rodrigo Abd
The first thing the muscled-up men did was take my cellphone. They had stopped me on the street as I left an interview in the hometown of the late President Hugo Chavez and wrangled me into a black SUV.
In a country where finding even a Tylenol can be a weekslong ordeal, protesters are employing every scrap of material they can find as makeshift weaponry or to protect themselves while confronting police and national guardsmen who fire tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse marchers.
Maria Arias slipped her notebooks into her backpack, scrounged for a banana to share with her brother and sister, and set off for high school through narrow streets so violent taxis will not come here for any price.