A photograph showing a woman walking down a nearly empty supermarket aisle was taken in Venezuela. See Example( s )
Collected via Web, January 2016
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Venezuela holds an inflation rate of 720%, after surpasing world records at 250% last year. 9.1% is projected for Uruguay – the 4th highest inflation rate in Latin America. Venezuela’s debt with Uruguay – which directly affects dairy farmers as much of the volume of sales to that country constitute as cheese and milk powder – is a fortune. It is estimated that the Caribean country owes aproximately $ 100 million to the dairy sector. Conaprole (the largest company in the industry in Uruguay) alone still awaits U$S86 million in goods already delivered and consumed across the continent.Last week, President Maduro proposed a meeting of his National Council for Productive Economy. There, Venezuelan officials and businessmen were planning to address the serious problems of the economy, for which the government has declared a state of economic emergency.
A photograph showing a woman walking down a nearly empty shopping aisle is frequently shared on the internet along with the claim that it was taken in Venezuela and used to illustrate food and water scarcity there.
While by many accounts basic goods are increasingly scarce in Venezuela, and the above-displayed image is real, the two aren’t actually related. This photograph was actually taken in New York in August 2011 during Hurricane Irene.
Examining the photograph closely yields several clues that it was not taken anywhere in Venezuela. For example, the prices on the store shelves are clearly labeled with American currency and not the bolivar. A sign in the background of the image is also written in English, not Spanish:
A shopper passes by empty shelves while looking for bottled water at a Stop and Shop at Rockaway Beach in New York, August 26, 2011.
The English-language sign was eventually cropped out of the photograph, and a lower-resolution version of the image started circulating on Spanish language blogs along with the claim that it was an image taken in Venezuela. The photograph was then picked up by several newspapers, including El Nacional, Prensa Libre, and ElSalvador.com, and used to illustrate the country’s economic crisis.
While it’s true that Venezuela was reported to be on the “brink of economic collapse,” in 2016, the above-displayed image does not accurately illustrate the financial troubles of the country, but instead the effects of an impending hurricane in the United States.