It is getting harder to be in the middle class here in Venezuela. There are different food shortages and I sometimes have a hard time finding ways to acquire such basics as, white sugar, black beans, mayonnaise, and butter! (Of course, the lack of mayo and butter are helping my diet along!)
It took us trips to 5 stores to be able to find chicken. The owner warned us that he did not know when he would get more. What is hard for the middle class, is that the poorer people have chicken and beans. They go to the government stores, stand in line and buy chicken at the subsidized rate. The rich people have chicken because they can send their maids to the stores. But those in the middle class don't have the time to stand in line for hours waiting to buy chicken because they have to actually go to work. So, I have not had black beans for many months now. And eat more fish and pork than I care for!
We have been having a lot of student protests again near my house. I live in an area where there are several universities. The other day we could not get out of the neighborhood because the students had burned one vehicle already and ended up burning a bus as well. If you are on foot, they let you pass, but if you are able to afford a vehicle, you are the "oligarchs".
Things calmed down for the Chavez appearance . There were armed soldiers about every 50-100 meters or so for a few days. Today is also quiet as it is a holiday.