If the oil price drops, "we become a cannibal society": Venezuela today.

Globe & Mail: “In the serene private clubs of Caracas, there is no milk, and the hiss of the cappuccino machine has fallen silent. In the slums, the lights go out every few days, or the water stops running.” “In the grocery stores, both state-run shops and expensive delicatessens, customers barter information: I saw soap here, that store has rice today. The oil engineers have emigrated to Calgary, the soap opera stars fled to Mexico and Colombia.
….Venezuela, the world’s fifth-largest oil producer, is a leading candidate for next collapsed state.
“To be Venezuelan today is to live on the edge of the apocalypse, convinced it will happen tomorrow,” said Alberto Barrera, a poet, screenwriter and biographer of the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, in a recent conversation over coffee that was, by necessity, black. “But then, we’ve been expecting the crisis at any moment for years now.”
Inflation is running at over 50 per cent, a raging black market buys dollars at more than 10 times the official rate, domestic industry has all but shut down; there are critical shortages of many consumer staples, including corn flour for arepas, the national breakfast. TV stations – now all state-controlled – are full of ads that alternately denounce capitalism or show square-shouldered actors talking about how they don’t hoard and buy only what they need. Billboards boast of how socialist Venezuela has never been stronger; yet almost no one has toilet paper in their bathrooms.
The apocalypse hasn’t come yet. “The crash never comes because Venezuela has an insurance other countries don’t have – one of the largest oil reserves in the world,” said Jorge Roig, president of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce. Venezuela’s economic indicators defy logic, he said, but the international thirst for oil has postponed the day of reckoning.
High oil prices funded Mr. Chavez’s “Bolivarian revolution” over the past 14 years. He made massive investments in health and education; because the government releases almost no reliable data, it is debatable how much impact these had on human development, but they did inspire a belief in redistribution and justice, and ensured his huge popularity.
But since Mr. Chavez’s death nearly a year ago, it has become apparent that his hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro, lacks his charisma. Meanwhile, the safety net is starting to tatter. Production by the national oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A, or PDVSA, is declining, although the government won’t say by how much.
….Many of the poor and lower middle class remain ardent supporters of Mr. Chavez’s socialist party and his redistribution project. “The Comandante in his 14 years of rule filled us with idealism … the idea that we are all entitled to a share will survive him,” said Henrique Ollorbes, 63, a retired firefighter whose extended family lives on a network of pensions, grants and schemes provided by the government.
….Mr. Obuchi, the public policy expert, predicted another year of rising inflation and greater shortages. Mr. Barrera, the screenwriter whose telenovelabusiness has decamped to Mexico, believes the end of the Chavismo project may finally come, in an instant. “The day that oil prices so much as flicker,” he said, “we become a cannibal society.”