10 Most Sought-After Bartering Items in Venezuela

Maybell Nieves
By Maybell Nieves October 14, 2019 08:13

10 Most Sought-After Bartering Items in Venezuela

About 50 years ago, Venezuela was one of the most stable countries in the world. Even with huge oil reserves, however, little is left of the so-called Saudi Venezuela.

More than 30 years of misguided economic policies unleashed what is now Venezuela: a country full of misery, long lines to buy food, and hospitals and public health centers in poor condition. We are also dealing with the largest exodus of professionals in the history of Venezuela. Since 1999, with the arrival of Hugo Chavez, the national currency (the bolivar) has suffered several devaluations.

This is the result of inflation that is more than 40% per month. At the end of the last century, inflation led countries like Argentina, Brazil, and, more recently, Zimbabwe to devalue their currencies, causing an economic disaster that ended up affecting the most vulnerable citizens: those who live on a fixed monthly income.

As a surgeon and an instructor in the surgery residency program at the most important hospital in Caracas, my monthly salary is barely $10, and it is one of the highest for a public administration worker. The minimum monthly wage is less than $4.

That is how the bolivar has become a useless currency. This has led some people to trade by barter or to ask for goods instead of money when charging for their services.10 Most Sought-After Bartering Items in VenezuelaIt has become such a common practice that there are Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp groups for the supply and demand of barter products.

Some of the most sought-after and profitable products that one can have are the following:

#1. Food

One of the first things that disappeared because of the price controls established by the government was basic food. I have spent full weekends visiting several supermarkets in order to buy all the food needed from a normal shopping list.

Powdered milk and sugar are among the most difficult items to get, so it is now normal to exchange two or three bags of rice or pasta for one of milk.

#2. Medicines

Any type of analgesic, antibiotics, and oral contraceptives are easily interchangeable for an article of the same importance. Medications are usually exchanged for other medications.

When a family member suffers from a chronic disease, such as diabetes, it is important to have his or her treatment.

Both my parents are hypertensive, and I always try to have their medicines ensured for up to five months. When I find it at the pharmacy, I try to buy as much as I can.

One of my patients who works at a pharmacy lets me know whenever my parents’ treatments arrive so I can buy more before they disappear.

#3. Voltage Protectors

With the serious electricity problems in the country, voltage regulators have become one of the most useful and sought-after items today.

As they are expensive products, sellers probably do not receive any other item as payment.

If you need one and find someone willing to sell it, its price will surely be set in American dollars. However, it is always better to invest in a voltage protector than to lose a refrigerator or air conditioner due to a sudden electrical change.

Related: No Gas, No Electricity… How To Cook Indoors Without Smoke

#4. Hygiene Products

Personal hygiene products, such as soap, shampoo, feminine hygiene products, razors, and toilet paper, as well as household hygiene and disinfection products, are very valuable in this economy.10 Most Sought-After Bartering Items in VenezuelaI particularly try to fill my shelves whenever I find any in the supermarket. On more than one opportunity, I have been able to exchange these products for something else.

#5. Flashlights, Batteries, Candles, and Matches

Electrical problems and electricity rationing in much of the country make light-generating items indispensable.

Above all, batteries and candles are excellent products that can be stored and eventually used for an exchange.

#6. Coffee

Nowadays coffee in Venezuela is a luxury product. Although this country once was one of the main coffee exporters, many of the coffee companies that were expropriated by the government are no longer in operation.

In Venezuelan culture, drinking coffee, at least in the mornings, is a tradition. It’s normal even for children to drink a cup of café con leche (coffee with milk).

Taking advantage of that tradition, many sell products of very low quality in which remains of corn and seeds have even been found in the mixture.

A package of coffee, good coffee, is something really valuable.

#7. Cigarettes

I’m not a smoker, but I have close friends who are, and I realize the very high price of tobacco products—so high that some street vendors sell cigarettes individually.

For smokers, these are valuable items for which they will pay whatever price, either in money or in another item.

#8. Fuel

If anything shouldn’t be scarce in Venezuela it’s oil derivatives. However, in recent years, there have been serious distribution problems around the country.10 Most Sought-After Bartering Items in VenezuelaProducts such as gasoline and diesel are sold at very high prices by the military and even smuggled into the country from Colombia and Brazil.

In times of a fuel crisis, having gasoline stored can be of great help. Obviously not everyone has an adequate infrastructure to keep this type of product safely stored though.

#9. Vehicle Spare Parts

Any vehicle spare part has become an extremely difficult product to obtain. From simple things like windshield wipers and antennas to more complex parts, Caracas has become a city of cars in poor condition and without any maintenance.

The government decided to regulate the prices of spare parts, and as always, they disappeared from the spare parts businesses. That regulation generated a clandestine market of buying, selling, and bartering, especially of tires and batteries.

Related: 12 Essential Things You Can Scavenge from Cars when SHTF

#10. Skills

Without a doubt, possessing some skill that can be exchanged for goods is one of the most profitable things at the moment.One of my best friends is a personal trainer. The gym where she works pays her with a free membership and unlimited use of the facilities.

Another close friend is a community manager and manages the Instagram profiles of several doctors, receiving medical consultations as payment.

It is not unreasonable to exchange a medical consultation for a dental one, which was a personal recent experience.

I made this list of what my experience in this situation has been. Surely there are many other important products that I have left out, but no doubt those I named are among the most sought after.

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Maybell Nieves
By Maybell Nieves October 14, 2019 08:13
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54 Comments

  1. Wannabe October 14, 14:13

    It is terrible you all are going through this. Again I Thankyou for sharing with us. This is not reported in our news media because it goes against their agenda to do the same in America. The results of your countries failed policies just make people like Bernie Sanders look bad. Not to mention Danny Glover and Sean Penn. I will definitely take your list to heart. God bless you and your family. I also want to say that it looks like having the right connections help also. You said one of your patients is a pharmacist and he/she is able to give you a heads up when your parents needed medicine is available. Also a medical consultation was traded for a dentistry consultation. The right connections are important and is just wise to treat anyone you come across with kindness and helpfulness and it just might be the one that can help you in return.

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    • Rodolfo October 14, 17:54

      They don tell you USA took al their money, gold, blocked all imports of food, medicine, everything. Blocked all ports, roads, airports, so they couldn’t sell or export nothing, including their oil.
      USA thinks that killing by starvation babys, Kids, elderly, will change government system?
      USA did it to Vietnam, Korea, Irak, Libya, Syria, Libya, and now Venezuela. There is no Democracy or freedom on any of these countries after USA interventions.
      But rich empires like United Arabs Emiratíes where women are treated worse than animals, where decapitations ocurre in public plazas, reported are killed and desmembered in consulate officials offices to those ones USA will give all aides posible, including billions on weapons including nuclear weapons to comité genecide to their neighbors. Isn’t that a high hipocracy double standards?????

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      • PirateRooster October 14, 20:32

        LIES! Nothing more than LIES about the great USA!!!!!!

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        • Elaine October 14, 22:59

          LIES??? What US propaganda rag do YOU listen to? CNN, NYT? WP? You obviously did not listen to what went on in NO after Katrina!

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      • PirateRooster October 14, 20:33

        LIES! Just more than LIES about the great USA!!!!!!

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        • red October 15, 02:05

          Pirate: You’re defending the Clinton admin here. They set Chavez in power and propped him up in 1998. They did the same to Haiti when their pet was ousted from office and a new president elected. Then, Clinton sent troops to force Haiti to bow to her will.

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      • misellen October 14, 21:34

        I don’t know where you get your information but i suspect it comes right out of your very thick head. Almost everything you said is wrong. You need to get an education about the real world. All you are doing is spreading lies and misinformation to a group of people with the same mentality as you and they will spread it to their like-minded misfits. That does the world no good. We have enough real problems without the likes of you.

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        • Elaine October 14, 23:07

          Who are you talking to? (Can’t tell from where the comment is.) If you are talking to Rodolfo, you need to take off your rose-colored glasses and stop listening to all the fake news!

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        • Vee Dubya October 15, 05:01

          spreading lies to the and misinformation to a group of people with the same mentality as you?? and yet, here you are~~~

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      • Wannabe October 15, 01:08

        So rodolfo, please elaborate how the USA did all that to Venezuela. From all the articles, and videos I have read and watched, even from first hand account of the lady who wrote this article and one in the past on this website, Venezuela has done it to them selves. Please site data, articles and videos to support your claims.

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      • red October 15, 02:01

        Rodolfo: When I discuss Native American history wit the grandkids, I always tell them, do not blame the whole nation for the actions of a few. When you do, you’re ignored. Name names and put a letter behind each name, D or R. The dems have done crap time and again to help socialist friends gain total power. Had they not fought JFK, we would have won Cuba back to freedom. Same with the PRI in Mexico, allowing Americans of Mexican extraction to vote in Mexico’s elections. Arab Spring which only destroyed the stability of many N. African nations. Know the enemy. the dnc hates Native Americans and most people in Venezuela are mestizo. walk in beauty

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      • PatriotOne October 15, 04:31

        You freakin’ Commie … pull your head out of your A$$!

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        • RRT October 15, 12:56

          PatriotOne,you are responding with the rage and hate of a 3 year old. Are you unable to converse as an adult? People like you are actually scary to those of us who base our opinions on facts instead of emotions. We may have differing opinions but we are able to articulate and discuss them. Wars are started because of unreasonable attitudes like yours.

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        • red October 15, 22:17

          P-1: You sound like a liberal. Use respect to respectfully ream someone out. It’s called verbal castration. Wives are usually great at it 🙂 Let the neolibs act like a$$es. We’re come from respectable people and a nation that’s still highly respected and feared by all others.

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      • Yankee October 25, 03:23

        You don’t know what you are talking about. I am from the US and I work in the middle east. you picked the wrong country to bash the UAE is one of the more progressive countries in the middle east. You are full of it. We are a proud and wonderful country and not perfect but better that the corrupt money grabbing politicians and gangster in your country.. You are paying for the crap within your country. Soiled little brats that had all this money got used to it then lost it and now you want to cray like a baby. Get off your ass and do something about it.

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  2. NM Prospector October 14, 16:19

    Thanks for reminding all of us why we prep. Conditions
    can change rapidly in a country. It is said we are only 3
    days from becoming an animal when there is no food to
    feed our families. Personally I don’t think it takes that long.

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  3. Beaubart October 14, 17:05

    Have been told that half pint bottles of whiskey were very handy?

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    • left coast chuck October 14, 18:01

      But if you are buying alcohol in half pint bottles, you are paying a premium for it. While reasonable minds can differ, I would think alcohol purchased by the half gallon would be a better investment, and save small bottles that you can wash out and rebottle the alcohol. Spice jars are an example that come to mind immediately. Small olive jars — although I am very fond of olives and buy the large economy size jar. If you buy capers, the small size jar is about the size. As with selling single cigarettes, you want to sell small quantities. Larger return on your investment.

      Apparently selling single cigarettes is common in some communities in this country. The case in NYC that created so much notoriety was started because the six officers were arresting the black man who was selling single cigarettes.

      I won’t bother to comment on what I think of six officers being necessary to issue a citation (which is the way it should have been handled if selling single cigarettes is really against some ordinance). That seems like an incredible waste of police manpower. I don’t think NYC is so crime free these days that they can or should free up six officers to hand out what should be a traffic citation. Maybe that is why crime is so high, they are wasting resources on silly nonsense like that.

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      • Govtgirl October 15, 15:28

        Reading this article only brought home what you previously said about #10-Skills. In reading articles about bartering, they always talk about what to stockpile and limitations in the system like having what the other party wants for what you want and the issue of quantity you mentioned. To me, the risk of bartering goods is that it reveals what you have to trade (or steal or worse, take by force.). This really illustrates how being known as a good knife maker is more valuable and far safer.

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        • red October 16, 03:13

          I hate to disagree, but a knife maker and gun repair will get raided first and constantly. How many people today even carry a pen knife, let alone own a good hunting blade? A repair shop might have guns in stock or there to be repaired and ammo. Best scenario is the jeweler shop in a slum. the one I remember was in North Philly. The owner, a bachelor, bought a concrete block and brick building, made an area people could walk in and see what he had behind thick plexiglass. No one touched anything. You could make payments but had to have 50% paid for before you got it. If you never made another payment, he didn’t care. He made upwards of 500% profit on it. State of the art alarm inside and out, and pictures taken of anyone walking in. Thugs usually came in late, right at closing, and if no one else was in the room, he locked the door and the alarm went off, the cops came and arrested or shot the thug. A knife maker and gun repair are the gems of SHFT. Learn the trades, and use caution even today. niio

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  4. Thomas October 14, 17:41

    Would like to see what items are exchanged for. For example, 3 cans of soup for a pack of cigarettes or so many batteries for a haircut.

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  5. Clayboy October 14, 17:45

    Alcohol products like wine and whiskey are also good products for barter. Coffee and things like toilet paper will always be in demand also. Ambesol is also a good product to have on hand

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  6. left coast chuck October 14, 17:48

    “One of my best friends is a personal trainer. The gym where she works pays her with a free membership and unlimited use of the facilities.”

    If there is money to spare to go to the gym and to pay a personal trainer, it seems to me things aren’t quite as bad as portrayed. One doesn’t need to go to a gym in order to work out. One doesn’t need to hire a personal trainer in order to devise a workout. There are plenty of books available with exercise programs. There are on-line videos available with exercise programs.

    It seems to me in a real desperate situation where food and other items are really scarce, the first things to go are items such a working out at the gym and especially hiring a personal trainer.

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    • Rebecca Ednie October 14, 20:33

      I’d guess that, as during most crisis’, there are still the rich getting richer and they can pay for a personal trainer. Amazing that a dr isn’t paid more tho.

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      • left coast chuck October 15, 04:02

        I thought about that. My feeling is that is what she is paid to be an administrator at the hospital. I don’t know how it is in Venezuela, but in many countries a doctor gets a stipend from the hospital for performing duties at the hospital but in addition charges patients fees for performing services. If all she got was $10 a month she wouldn’t be able to buy out all the hypertensive medication that a pharmacy gets for her parents. I suspect the lady is not being 100% honest with us about her circumstances.

        I also suspect that a lot of what we hear about Venezuela is propaganda to make things appear worse than they are. If you want to take an example, folks in the Peepuls Republic of Kallyfornia are constantly urged to conserve electricity or face “rolling blackouts”, yet we constantly take electricity generating plants off line out here for green purposes. I am sure in some countries those urging to “save electricity” are twisted to show that the US is in as bad shape as some other countries. If you look at the PDRK’s roads, you might get the impression that we are a third world country. I’m doing my part. I save my electricity in a large pink piggy bank.

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    • red October 15, 02:23

      LLC: In Germany in the 20s, you bartered for everything. A college education was easy to get. A handful of carrots and a few other things, like a kilogram of sausage and you were in. Wine and beer were cheap. Pretty much everyone went to the gym. Most people traded for radios and tools. In Penna, in Dad’s time, the country doctor neighbor took livestock and canned good. He was legally allowed a small still to make alcohol for medicinal purposes. He used to to trade for medicines, pay his taxes, and so on. When revenuers would raid him, then all those pigs he was given came in handy, and the shotgun.

      If the personal trainer is working for time in the gym, I’d say she’s taking food or other things in trade. Better than all those college professors when the Wiemar Republic destroyed Germany. niio

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      • left coast chuck October 15, 04:34

        RED: I have a feeling that when folks are on short rations they are not spending time in the gym. I can’t comment on how the folks in Germany handled the lack of food and the hyperinflation during the Weimer Republic. I do have first hand knowledge about how the folks in Japan handled food shortages during WWII and immediately after. They weren’t worried about staying in shape. They were far more concerned with getting enough calories to just stay alive. They weren’t about to waste energy exercising. Just plain trying to stay alive presented all the exercise they needed. If they had extra goods to trade they spent the weekend on the train if they could find space and traveled out into the countryside to trade valuables to farmers for food.

        The highlight of my wife’s month was if her mother was able to score a sweet potato for her. It was her candy during the war. It was nutritious and also sweet. Brown rice was cheaper than white rice. She has memories of using a stick and a large sake bottle to pound the hulls from the brown rice. I think one of the reasons she doesn’t like brown rice today is because it reminds her of the war and having to eat brown rice.

        Nobody had gas for cars. There was no gas available. Every drop of gas went to the war effort. Of course, if one were very wealthy one could always buy gas from black market sources but then that presupposed that one had a car to burn gasoline in.

        During WWII my father worked at an oil refinery. He was considered an essential war worker and as such he was entitled to a special sticker that allowed him more gas than the ordinary family received. Even so, we didn’t do any joy riding during the war. All the gas that he was able to get went for him to drive back and forth to work. When he worked the day shift he rode the train to work to save gas for when he worked shift work. The train didn’t run late at night to conserve coal for the war effort and that’s when he drove the car. Inner tubes were unavailable as were tires, so folks got quite skilled at patching tubes and even tires.

        You can’t buy them now but you used to be able to buy recapped tires. A strip of tire tread was glued to the old tire and you were good to go. Of course you had to go slowly because if you went too fast, the glue would heat up and the recap would separate. Even when I came back from my tour overseas you could still buy recaps. The hot new thing was that the retreads were “vulcanized” which theoretically made them stick to the carcass of the tire better.

        I stopped buying retreads when I lost a tread on the road to Indio one summer day. That was more excitement than I needed. With the speeds folks drive today if retreads were still available the roads would be covered with lost treads. I think truckers can still buy retreads because frequently one will see strips of truck tread laying by the side of the road.

        Sure the country doctor traded goods for services. Folks would do anything to get medical care for a sick child, so chickens, eggs, hams, vegetables all got traded for medical services. My parents told me the year I was born they lived on cherry tomatoes that they had planted, eggs from chickens that they allowed to scratch wild and blackberries from the wild field next to the house where we lived. All the money that my father earned on the WPA went for baby formula and doctor bills for me.

        Did you ever put cardboard in your shoe because the sole was worn through and the shoemaker had run out of soles for patching shoes? I can remember my mother doing that for me during the war. It wasn’t that they didn’t have money for the soles. The soles just weren’t available. Leather goods were rationed in order to provide footgear for the troops.

        Some time ago I read a book written by an Argentine fellow who described conditions in Argentina as a result of silly fiscal policy and hyperinflation with fiat money and the printing presses running faster and faster printing more phony money (sound familiar?) Much of what he describes in Argentina sounds like what this lady is describing in Venezuela. Lots of barter going on. The stuff that really get merchandise is gold and silver.

        A relative of mine is in Buenos Aires right now. He has told me from past trips there are two prices in the tourist areas, U.S. dollars and Argentine pesos. I’ll get a report from him when he gets back.

        To cut to the chase, if you are hungry and desperate for food, you don’t have to worry about the gym. You are getting more exercise than you need walking everywhere and you don’t have to worry about losing weight. Your big worry is getting enough calories to keep alive.

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        • red October 16, 01:56

          LLC: How are they paying for the gym? Even under the Great Depression, some people still had money. Bootleggers, junkyard owners, and so on. When I worked p/t, I spent a lot of time there. The gas was shut off at home, my stepson used money to pay the bill on heroin. I made good use of the sauna and pool, the showers, and weights. It’s been my observation, Japanese aren’t much for gyms. When they came to the restaurant, they ate dessert first, then cut the fat (flab) off the steaks and pork, and ate that. Deep-fried vegetables and beer. The rice is polished with no bran, and it was rare to see one at a gym. Those who did were usually mothers teaching small children how to swim. On the other hand, high school in Germany is called gymnasium. You are expected to belong to one as an adult and that’s been the case for generations.

          You’re respected for your intelligence. When you discuss something, I take it seriously because you earned that. When you have nothing left to do and the money is bad, what would you give? She works to keep a place at the gym. She probably gets paid in food and some money. How can they afford it? Venezuela farms 365 days a year. People still work, but the inflation rate is bad. Think about it. How would you pay a trainer in that situation. Remember that the root cause of depression is in the body affecting the mind. A workout produces endorphins, which drive out depression.

          Oil refinery work is deadly. It takes brave men to work in one. My family farmed and worked in coal mines, also deadly. They joke that going to war is like a vacation. Even a pet cow will turn and kill you and pigs will bite off the hand that feeds them. Then eat the rest of you, still alive and screaming. Penna has a record of 5 dead per square mile in mining accidents since they open the first mine.

          Arizona allows recapped tires. So far as I know, every semi on the road still uses them. I can take a set of recaps for my brothers’ trucks to Ohio. No idea, of course, if they’re legal, but they get used. Same in Penna, where they are illegal. Most state highway patrol look the other way.

          No, we lived on a farm, so no cardboard. Dad had a set of shoe lasts and repaired our school shoes. In summer we went barefoot or wore mocs in bad weather. He made boots for himself and Mom for barn work. My parents when young had it like that. Both grandfathers made shoes for family in town and my grandmothers sewed mocs. A friend from China told me how his mother made shoes of paper with glue and scraps of paper. He walked barefoot to school each day and only wor them when in school.

          We don’t know Venezuela. A lot of Germans settled there, and Germans are tight on the gym, no matter what. It’s a social thing with many people, as well. Argentina isn’t one nation, but a dozen. That’s how they lost the Falklands war, too many languages and too many who disliked each other for not being English, or Spanish, Irish or Welsh. It’s changing now, but still very tribal. A woman wrote me, gleefully, that they finally gave the boot to the last of the Nazis (Peronistas) in their senate. With respect to you, and thank you for writing. niio

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    • mbl October 16, 13:53

      I thought that about the gym, too, at first, but agree with Red that it may be culturally important in a way it isn’t in the US. It can also provide a place where you can wash and keep clean, can go inside when the weather’s bad.

      Also, the gym is a place where people can meet. I’m reminded of the taverns where many met in the Colonies to discuss the situation with England. In the 21st century in the US, similar conversations might take place on a golf course.

      In Venezuela’s situation, and we can look historically at other places, the shtf situation may occur before you are entirely ready for it. You may have everything prepped in case of a lightning strike, but a blizzard occurs instead.

      I also think in a crisis situation, i think there’s a strong desire to continue with some kind of normalcy. Whether it be continuing to serve coffee in the morning or going to the gym, there’s a part of the psyche that drives to carry on.

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  7. Cabernet2 October 14, 18:25

    Is there a way to try and help a family? Maybe send package of food.

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    • Papaw October 15, 00:00

      That is the most Christian act I have seen in a month.

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    • IvyMike October 15, 00:25

      American aid is not allowed into Venezuela because the CIA has been working for years to re-establish a puppet government there. Aid from countries not aligned with the U.S. does get in.
      Calling the Chavistas Socialist Communist demons is fine but all they really are are criminals, the final expression of corrupt Venezuelan politics. As our American politics also seem trending to ever greater corruption it is past time people learned the real history of our involvement south of the border and begin worrying about our own future.

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    • Illini Warrior October 15, 14:00

      half the country has crossed over to live in refugee camps in the neighboring countries >>> the relief organizations can use your $$$$ donation – not much you can do while the Venezuelan gooberment is emptying prisons and arming them – say a prayer for those left behind …

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      • red October 16, 02:59

        We are. I remember when the Nazis that took over Ethiopia and starved a million to death. We sent what we could, but the nazis were confiscating it. then the Mennonites, who were sending grain, got into it and stopped it. N. Orleans, same deal. Liberia, same. Tarahumara famine, nope. Everything sent went to the people who needed it because Mexicans were rebelling against the PRI 🙂 walk in beauty

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        • left coast chuck October 17, 03:04

          Red: Nazis taking over Ethiopia — if you are talking about WWII, that was Benito Mussolini and his fascist buddies who invaded Ethiopia. As far as I know the nazis were mainly in Morocco and Libya and stretching eastward toward Egypt but they never were able to get a foothold in Egypt.

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          • red October 18, 02:43

            LLC: No, the second most popular book among jihad wannabes is Meain Kamph. near the end of WWII, with the help of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem (who was put in place by the French), Hitler placed thousands of SS in white Muslim nations. In many of these nation,the Nazi party ruled politics, and after the war, they all went pro-USSR. Many SS officers and Gestapo officers went, as well as to Stalin, who shot a few for show and welcomed the rest. The so-called fascists in Ethiopia were Muslim. We’re still fighting WWII. BTW, an uncle used to joke Rommel got asthma from chasing American troops all over N. Africa. niio

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  8. Rebecca Ednie October 14, 20:30

    I was surprised alcohol wasn’t on the list.

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    • Elaine October 14, 23:05

      I was too! My understanding is that it will be quite the thing when SHTF! But on the other hand! It shouldn’t be any different than coffee as far as I’m concerned! And cigarettes. People’s addictions will be at a premium, I would imagine! I don’t see silver on there. I HAVE heard that silver won’t be valuable in a SHTF scenario, until the food problem gets under control! But I DO wonder if silver is worth anything at all over there. But then, so far, internationally the price is still totally suppressed, so that might make a huge difference, I guess.

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      • sidpits October 15, 02:28

        I’m guessing,but growing coffee seems a lot harder than distilling alcohol.

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        • red October 15, 21:33

          True. But, you still have to grow something to ferment to distill. In Venezuela, fer-de-lance hang out in any spot that they can. Coral snakes. Spiders. Cane, yes, but you can burn off the dead leaves and then the deadly critters become fertilizer 🙂 Then all you have to worry about is thirsty neighbors. If you wanted to, you might be able to get a permit from the state to cook off E-85 to use in a furnace or car. niio

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      • red October 15, 02:29

        When there’s little food, silver is just metal. Alcohol is strictly for medicinal use, not entertaining. People make their own beer and after brewing, the remains are used in soups. Wine and beer leas are spent yeast, and about 35% digestible protein. Same with leas from making rum, and so on. Moonshiners always raised hogs to eat the evidence but they’re good for people, as well, and usually good for you. The higher protein in fermented food is from the bacteria and yeast used to ferment it. Alcohol will be important after things stabilize. Till then, whiskey is a fuel. niio

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        • left coast chuck October 15, 04:42

          Part of what make Kobe beef so special is that the cattle are fed the lees from making sake. The left overs alcohol brewing, fermenting or distilling have traditionally been fed to cattle. I have read that all ruminants ferment the fodder they eat and have a constant blood alcohol content. That’s why Elsie was always so contented. She was always three sheets to the wind.

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  9. Mustang October 15, 00:30

    <>
    This is precisely why I’ve been doing research on finding the real value in food, tools, service, etc. for a barter-only society.

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  10. red October 15, 01:55

    Yes! Vehicle parts at first will be easy to come by in the event of SHFT, but not for long. When panic dies, and things stabilize in the new form, cars and trucks will be stripped of anything usable. Radiators make good stills for fuel, but will poison anyone drinking it. Yards of wire, the glass. When working in a junkyard, 3rd shift sec., I would come in before my time and half the people were Hispanic pickers, working for people who shipped parts to the Islands and C. America. On foreign makes, they left shells. Same with pickups. Good article! niio

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  11. ccter October 15, 03:09

    Someone help me out here …are they talking about surge protectors for Item #3?

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    • left coast chuck October 15, 04:52

      That was how I interpreted the paragraph. When electricity has been off and comes back on frequently there is a surge of voltage down the line until the line settles down to a minimum fluctuation. That’s why the powers that be tell the peons to unplug their appliances during a power outage so that when the juice does come back on it doesn’t burn out the motor in your fridge or fry your TV which these days is always on even after you think you have turned it off. How many appliances have clocks in them these days? Your microwave, your toaster oven, the coffee maker, the TV. Perhaps you leave you computer in sleep mode. If so, it’s really on. So when that 150 volt start-up current hits your fridge, it’s new fridge time. Same with the freezer in the garage. It doesn’t happen every time, just enough times to make it a painful expense.

      If the juice goes out while you and the wife are at work and comes back on while you are on your commute back home, it helps to have the fridge plugged into a surge protector, otherwise instead of relaxing and watching watching A.G.T. you are going to be shopping for a new fridge — and maybe a new TV too.

      You can imagine what a pain it must be when the electricity is off and on without notification. Having a surge protector between the appliance and the connection to the wall is a real peace of mind device.

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    • Illini Warrior October 15, 13:54

      yep – the little boxy dealy that gets plugged in between the wall outlet and the electrical/electronic appliance/device >>> if you want to prep – get a whole house spike interrupter installed at your main circuit box – you can still use your individual protection but a whole house will protect items like the new computerized home control systems ….

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  12. Jefe October 15, 16:24

    I send care packages to Venezuela every four months, and I can confirm that the article is spot on. Sad to see the left-right paradigm, divide and conquer used by the elites, as the default position in the commentary. Thank you, Ms. Nieves for your excellent article. Saludos de mi rinconcito..

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  13. Matt in Oklahoma October 15, 20:37

    This is very similar to what I encountered in the Balkans in the 90s.

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  14. Mo October 15, 22:11

    Hey ya’ll..being born and raised way out in the country, my list is a bit different.
    1-SKILLS..learn how to do things now, when your life doesn’t depend on it. Canning, soap making, distilling, gardening, animal husbandry,repairing, basic medical knowledge, learn and grow medicinal plants, now that’s gold rt there. (See where this is heading?) Be self sufficient now!
    2-Only stockpile things that make other things. And learn how to store them for the long run. Set down make a list of what is used in your house for a month, now make that a year…
    3-Big wash tubs and pots, things that can be either put on a fire or stand to have one built under it. Hygiene is essential, so are clean clothes. Water will have to be boiled for use.
    4-Alternate lighting and heat and cooking sources. Oil lamps, rocket stoves, solar. In a true situation, there will be no power, water, gas…
    5-cast iron cook wear, its durable, easy to take care of, doubles for many uses. All this thin non stick crap is just gonna melt.
    6-Knifes, axes, hand tools.and sharpening stones, learn them now, because this is totally old school living, and its hard work.
    7-Toilet paper…I cannot stress enough how important this everyday item is, every time you hit the store buy extra.
    8-fire arms, cross bows…spend the time to become proficient, learn how to reload your own, you simply must be prepared to defend your self.
    9-books,..believe me your gonna get cabin fever, and they are good trade items.
    10- Tobacco, even if your a non-smoker, that’s gold for trading. And it has other uses. Rolling papers, another gold item.
    Now I know everyone has their list, this is just a quick thought, but having lived 153 miles form the nearest store and only going to town about every 3 months a person gets a list of more practical things.

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    • red October 16, 02:44

      Good ideas. I follow you on it. On the frontier, even people who couldn’t read carried at least a Bible as a status symbol. Weeks of travel away from civilization, newspapers were read till they were rags of paper. There’s a set of books about tools that make tools, I’m still hunting for a set. Also, the Foxfire set is going to be worth a fortune after SHFT, and to the owner. niio

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  15. left coast chuck October 16, 04:34

    This message is sort of along the line of after the S.F.T.T. Dr. Arthur Bradley is very interested in CME/EMP protection. He has actually done testing and reported the testing modalities and results. He has a video that shows EMP testing using a Conex box as a Faraday cage. the site is:
    https://youtu.be/1Dx73tSSoNs. It is silent, but he reports the results in text at the end.

    Sorry, I thought copying the link and pasting it would enable you to just click it and go to it but apparently not.

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