CARACAS, VENEZUELA - The economic crisis in Venezuela is getting awfully sticky, except it's not a sugar-induced crash. In fact, the country is running out of the sweet, white crystals!
Venezuela's state-run sugar producers have temporarily stopped production, due to a lack of raw material, and the sugar shortage is just the latest saga for Venezuela's struggling economy. Other basic foods like flour, eggs and milk are also in short supply. The tanked economy is even killing people! Several deaths have been blamed on a lack of basic drugs and medical supplies. Even condoms were quoted at more $700 a box last year.
Venezuela's economy is fueled by oil exports, and as the price of crude plummeted, government spending actually went up. That left little revenue to import basic goods like sugar, barley and potatoes.
Inflation is projected to rise 500% this year, and investors are betting the country will default on its debts. Even after oil prices recently ticked up, experts say Venezuela's economy still has a long way to go.
They better do it quickly. It brings a whole new meaning to the term sugar rush.