Though once the strongest economy in Latin America, Venezuela has been hard hit over the last few years by low oil prices, triple-digit inflation, and political upheaval — all leading to shortages of food, medicine, and household goods.
Since the beginning of the crisis, Venezuelans inside and outside the country have been using the hashtag #SOSVenezuela in an attempt to raise awareness about what is going on there. The hashtag includes links to articles, photos, and general messages to the outside world.
This situation in Venezuela became worse when successive governments placed price controls on basic goods, capping the prices of coffee, rice, and flour, leading some underpaid producers to refuse to provide goods for government-run supermarkets. This subsequently drove up black market prices, or in many cases, led to a halt in production of certain items.
Outside the supermarkets, a combination of high prices and Venezuela's complicated exchange rate drove the country's inflation rate to a peak of 180% in May.