SAN JUAN DE LOS MORROS: Power blackouts are daily fare, running water comes only once a month, cash machines are empty and waiting for a bus can take hours. Welcome to San Juan de los Morros in Venezuela, where nothing works. "They send (running) water once a month. The rest of the time we have to buy it," moaned Florimar Nieves, a 39-year-old primary school teacher. "There have been times where we've had no electricity for 24 hours."
This is not some sort of remote village outpost but a city of 160,000 inhabitants, 150 kilometers southwest of the capital Caracas. Yet every corner reeks of the stench of Venezuela's acute economic and political crises. Nieves lives with her two daughters and a granddaughter on the outskirts of San Juan, in a neighborhood of small, unfinished houses, dirt roads and skinny dogs.