Jul 7, 2019

In oil-rich Venezuela, fuel shortages spark man-made famines

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

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Countries where novel coronavirus cases are falling may be hit with a "second peak" if they relax restrictions too soon, World Health Organization emergencies chief Mike Ryan warned during a briefing Monday. "We're still very much in a phase where the disease is actually on the way up," he added.

By the numbers: Almost 5.5 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.2 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 14.6 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,900 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,498,849 — Total deaths: 346,306 — Total recoveries — 2,233,180Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,662,768 — Total deaths: 98,223 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

LATAM Airlines files for U.S. chapter 11 bankruptcy

A LATAM air attendant aboard one of the company's planes in March. Photo: Kike Calvo/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

LATAM Airlines Group SA said in a statement early Tuesday the firm and its affiliates in in the United States, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S.

Why it matters: Latam is Latin America's largest airline and its shareholders include Delta Air Lines. CEO Roberto Alvo noted in the statement the coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the airline industry.