Every so often, the media runs stories about the depths desperate Venezuelans are being driven to in order to eat as their country crumbles around them. This is the latest one:
A few years ago, there were so many donkeys, or burros, in the Venezuelan state of Falcón that they were a problem — herds everywhere, causing highway crashes and blocking airport runways.
But over the past three years, the herds have shrunk dramatically as thousands of burros have been slaughtered for their meat by Venezuelans suffering through a near-famine.
“There’s no more burros here,” said Odalys Martinez, a resident of the Paraguana Peninsula in northern Falcón.
The collapse of the Venezuelan economy is radically changing the eating habits in the oil-producing country, where large sectors of the population are being forced to pick through garbage and slaughter domestic animals to sate their hunger.
He added that the idea of eating burro meat was introduced by Cuban medical personnel who arrived in Venezuela under the bilateral cooperation agreement known as Barrio Adentro.