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Photo: Matias Delacroix/Getty Images

Fuel shortages amid Venezuela's ongoing economic crisis are threatening what's left of the country's agriculture industry, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: "Venezuela is an oil-rich nation. But years of mismanagement and corruption in the oil industry, worsened by American sanctions, have dried up gasoline pumps at a crucial moment. First, the shortage prevented farmers ... from getting their produce to markets. Now, it is making it hard for them to sow new crops," the Times writes.

Why it matters: Venezuelans are already suffering widely from hunger and malnutrition as the mismanagement of its oil industry created difficult financial conditions for citizens. A thinning agriculture industry further threatens the population.

By the numbers:

  • Fedeagro, the nation's main agricultural association, is estimating that total area planted with corn and rice this year will shrink by approximately 50%.
  • According to a sugar cane association, the sugar output in regional-stronghold Portuguesa has fallen from 12 million tons in 2018 to 5 million tons this year.
  • Maduro promised $35 million in new farming credits in May, which Fedeagro has criticized as being too small.
  • As of December, only 55% of Venezuelans were eating three meals a day, according to Delphos.

Go deeper: Trump wants increased protections for Venezuelans fleeing to U.S.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Health

California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

4 hours ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.