Rising imports from Mercosur
Meat, coffee, corn and other products are imported by the member countries
Despite promises over secured food supply, Venezuela has turned more dependent on imports as they have dramatically increased for almost all products, especially basic products that have been imported from Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay, all of which are members of the Common Market of the South (Mercosur).
Regarding cereal, imports from the aforementioned countries jumped by 375.32% between 2006 and May 2012. From January to May 2012, over 393,000 tons of rice, corn, sorghum, and other products were imported whereas nearly 83,000 tons were imported in 2006 only.
Venezuela's main food supplier has been Argentina. In 2011 nearly 446,000 tons of cereal were reported. According to the figures recorded by the National Statistics Institute (INE), imports from Argentina have grown by 267.92 %.
Moreover, cereal imports from Brazil have grown 4000% from 2006 to 2012. Other countries such as Paraguay and Uruguay have also taken advantage of the State policy.
Meanwhile, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez claims that 80% of Venezuelan food consumption is met by domestic production as imports have dropped. However, figures recorded by the INE reveal the opposite.
The very early morning after the presidential election (April 15), both candidates requested the National Electoral Council (CNE) to conduct a full audit of the process: one, Henrique Capriles, because he asserts that the election results are different from the ones announced, and the other one, Nicolás Maduro, in order to clear any doubt regarding his victory, and to reinforce his political stance. Nevertheless, as it is already known, President Maduro changed his mind.