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Venezuela's empty food shelves aren't limited to the super markets. Food scarcity is increasingly a reality in many homes across the basket case nation, as the economic crisis spirals out of control and grinds the country to a halt.

But Venezuelans aren't shy about the privation; instead, many want to showcase it by letting others take a peek inside their empty fridges.

Over the past few weeks, a growing number of Venezuelans have been posting pictures of their empty refrigerators on Twitter under the hashtag #neverasvaciasenvenezuela (empty ice boxes in Venezuela). It's the exact opposite of food porn, and it's a way for Venezuelans to intimately document the unraveling of their country in real time on social media.

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The protest started after Reuters published a photo essay of what Venezuelans keep in their refrigerators these days, as runaway inflation and product shortages make it harder for families to feed themselves.

Carlos Garcia/Reuters

Now dozens of people are adding their personal pictures to a virtual Twitter gallery with messages aimed at Venezuela’s socialist government.

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“This is my pathetic fridge, a product of 21st century socialism,” tweeted Lourdes Limardo.

“This is what my house’s fridge looks like thanks to [President] Nicolas Maduro,” another person said on Twitter.

A survey conducted last September by a consortium of Venezuelan universities found that 87% of Venezuelans said they aren't making enough money to support their basic nutritional needs.

Venezuela’s minimum wage is currently worth around $15 per month, plus a mandatory $10 bonus for food. But $25 a month is still not enough to meet basic needs in Venezuela. CENDAS, a local think tank, estimates that the minimum monthly combination of basic food products that a family of four needs is worth around $140 per month.

“We are eating less,” homemaker Alida Gonzalez recently told Reuters. “The situation is so tough that what you spent before on breakfast, lunch and dinner, is only good enough for breakfast now.”

The Venezuelan government says that the food shortages are the product of an “economic war” launched by corrupt businessmen who are hoarding supplies and speculating on prices in an effort to generate popular discontent with the government.

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But even president Nicolas Maduro has acknowledged that the government is running out of cash for imports. He recently announced that food imports would nearly halve this year, from $37 billion to $20 billion.

Critics of the government argue that awry economic policies are to blame for this man-made mess. For years, Venezuela imposed price controls that discouraged local firms from investing in food production, and foreign exchange controls that made it harder to import food from abroad. With oil prices down by half over the past two years, and fewer U.S. dollars circulating in the economy, it is becoming even harder to import food.

“Until when will we have to put up with this,” a woman tweeted, as she posted a picture of an empty fridge.

For now, that's a question without an answer.

Manuel Rueda is a correspondent for Fusion, covering Mexico and South America. He travels from donkey festivals, to salsa clubs to steamy places with cartel activity.

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