So why did posting pictures of empty shelves suddenly become a thing on Venezuelan social media this week? The hashtag #AnaquelesVaciosEnVenezuela ("Empty shelves in Venezuela") became a worldwide Twitter trend, with over 200,000 tweets.
Shortages of basic products are not new in Venezuela. For the past couple of years, there have been intermittent shortages, mostly outside the capital Caracas. To get everything on their weekly shopping list, Venezuelans have to scout around - and sometimes make do without. In a deeply divided country there's no agreement on why these shortages are happening - with the opposition blaming the government controls and the government citing a conspiracy by the rich against the poor.