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Venezuela

Shortages Force Venezuelans To Buy Deodorant By The "Shot"

The heat is on in Caracas, Venezuela
The heat is on in Caracas, Venezuela

CARACAS — It might be funny if it weren't true — which Venezuelan reporter Nitu Pérez Osuna didn't think it was before witnessing it with her own eyes: people lining up along a Caracas street to get a "shot" or "lick" of deodorant.

"I'd seen something similar two years ago on Twitter and thought it was a hoax," Pérez told Blu Radio.

Walking through the city center, the journalist spotted a queue of about 40 people — "a relatively short line," given supply conditions in Venezuela — and asked people what they were waiting for. "A lick of deodorant on the armpit," she was told, for 20 bolivars (about 1.80 euros).

Nitu Pérez Osuna and a sign advertising for deodorant in Caracas — Source: Revista Semana via Twitter

The reporter hesitated to take a photo, but as she stealthily pulled out her smartphone, some of the people queuing up warned her, saying she risked being robbed. "Don't even think about it," one of them said.

Dabs of deodorant are one of a number of services being offered on the street as a result of Venezuela's deep economic crisis, which has resulted in serious shortages of basic supplies. Other makeshift dispensaries offer things like dentistry services — with people sharing the same toothbrushes all day long — shaves and manicures, all on the street. It is something that has "become normal, and nobody is surprised," said Pérez.

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Geopolitics

Limits Of Convenience: Why Russia-China Cooperation Won't Last

Moscow and Beijing may seem like strategic partners, but it's revealing itself clearly as a marriage of convenience. And ultimately they are naturally competitors, wary if the other grows stronger.

Limits Of Convenience: Why Russia-China Cooperation Won't Last

February 2022. Vladimir Putin attending the remony of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin Pool / Planet Pix via ZUMA Press Wire
Petro Shevchenko

-Analysis-

Long before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping were growing closer. China’s goal? To revamp the current world order, significantly weaken the West and its leaders, and to become the world-dominating figurehead over and above the United States.

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Russia’s war in Ukraine has become an essential element of this plan to destabilize the global situation.

When the West began imposing stringent sanctions on Russia, China instead chose to economically support Putin and left its markets open to accept raw materials from Russia. But don’t think this means China is Putin’s lapdog. Quite the contrary: Beijing has never helped Moscow to its own detriment, not wishing to fall under the punitive measures of the US and Europe.

At the same time, the Russian-Chinese alliance stirred dissatisfaction amongst the elite in both Beijing and Moscow. China was not expecting Russia’s plans to occupy Ukraine in a matter of days to fail and as a result, China’s aim to destabilize the West alongside its Russian partner failed.

Add to this the various alliances in the West emerging against Beijing and fears for China’s economy on home turf is beginning to grow.

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