It was around noon when a food truck rolled up to a Venezuelan state-subsidized supermarket in the town of Guarenas just east of the capital.
But, to the fury of the long line of people waiting out front, the cargo wasn’t unloaded. Instead soldiers took it away.
“We want food!” the crowd roared in protest, to no avail. Some tried to run after the truck.
Under the state of emergency imposed by President Nicolas Maduro, the military, along with government-organized civilian committees, ensures that food packets are delivered door-to-door in order to — as officials say — cut out black market operators.
Haydee Teran, a 48-year-old housewife who had been lining up for hours at the supermarket hoping to buy some scarce essentials, said Guarenas officials ordered that half of the food deliveries heading to shops and markets be instead diverted for local distribution.
“This decree isn’t solving anything,” Teran told AFP, showing a video of the incident she posted on Twitter.
“What the people want is food. There hasn’t been looting, but we are closing the streets to protest,” she said.