Local News

Food truck owner frets over family's struggle to eat in Venezuela

Posted August 7

In Venezuela, falling oil prices, and, some say, the government's failure, have led to a very troubled economy and food shortages for common people.

Triangle-area relatives, including Maricol Tinea, owner of The Corner Venezuelan food truck, watch with growing desperation the struggle from afar.

"La situacion es bastante dificil," Tinea said, explaining that the situation in her home country is very difficult.

Venezuelans suffer from shortages of food and medicine. Many have crossed into neighboring Colombia in search of supplies.

The pack of flour that cost Tinea about $4 in the United States would be hard to find in Venezuela. Her family would have to pay about $18 if they could it on the black market, she tells me.

Tinea realizes how lucky she is to have easy access to the ingredients for her traditional arepas, a treat she calls a celebration of her culture.

"La arepa que es nuestra tradicion," she said.

Other Venezuelans in the Triangle come to her food truck often in disbelief over reports. She confirms the reports through the struggle of her 80-year-old father.

Tinea says she would like to send food packages to her family, but the government restrictions in Venezuela do not allow her to do so. And she fears that the world doesn't seem to know that many in Venezuela are struggling just to get food.


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  • Aiden Audric Aug 9, 2:53 p.m.
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    Her plans aren't socialism. It's what conservative media calls them, but if you crack open a book, you'll know that they're lying.

  • Frank Little Aug 8, 1:28 p.m.
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    The problem the food truck owner was having was NOT getting food FROM her family. Venezuela is short of food for its people, so nobody is exporting. Her problem is sending into Venezuela. Likely, it would be stolen in transit, which is not new to the current crisis. Medicine is also scarce there and people are really suffering. Maduro is an inept President and the policies before and after he took over (as dictator) have destroyed the nation.

  • Frank Little Aug 8, 1:23 p.m.
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    The posts trying to link Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders or the Democrat Party or generic progressives or liberals to the debacle in Venezuela are ludicrous. No connection to that or any future America (unless you elect clown Donald Trump).

  • Jim Williams Aug 8, 11:35 a.m.
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    If you like what you see in Venezuela, you are going to LOVE Hillary's USA. Socialism fails every time it is tried. Do not even talk to me about Denmark as they are thriving by encouraging free markets.

  • James Hicks Aug 8, 12:19 a.m.
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    "she would like to send food packages to her family, but the government restrictions in Venezuela do not allow her to do so"

    If your government is actively prohibiting you from sending or receiving food from your family there is a serious problem, and time to find a better way. Read into that what you may.

    Secondly, it's a sad state of affairs that in 100 years we've moved from taking care of almost all our family's needs to facing starvation because someone (government in this case) is no longer providing for us. Learn to grow a garden. Do it every year. It takes time to understand how to get stuff to produce and it's not all just planting a seed and watching it grow. If you don't need the food, donate it or try dehydrating - some wonderful winter vegetable broths can be made at a later time. Don't ever rely on anyone else for the important things.

  • Ronald Woodard Aug 7, 10:09 p.m.
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    What is happening in Venezuela is sad. They unfortunately chose socialism with many services being free......in short the government ran out of other peoples money to spend. If we have 8 years of Hillary as President with continued borrowing and spending, expect to see our economy collapse and our debt not able to be serviced. Greece for example is just a smaller version of where we are headed and there is no one big enough to bailout the USA. Can Senor citizens continue to get by with in effect a 1% CD due to a weak economy? Obama and Hillary apparently don't care.