A boy uses his pillow as a bag to collect rice from the pavement that shook loose from a food cargo truck waiting to enter the port in Puerto Cabello, Venezuela.
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When hunger drew tens of thousands of Venezuelans to the streets last summer in protest, President Nicolas Maduro turned to the military to manage the country's diminished food supply, putting generals in charge of everything from butter to rice.The military is at the heart of the graft, according to documents and interviews with more than 60 officials, company owners and workers, including five former generals.As a result, food is not reaching those who most need it.In large part due to concerns of graft, the three largest global food traders, all based in the U.S., have stopped selling directly to the Venezuelan government.One South American businessman says he paid millions in kickbacks to Venezuelan officials as the hunger crisis worsened, including $8 million to people who work for the food minister, Gen. Rodolfo Marco Torres. Rotting food is a problem even as 90 percent of Venezuelans say they can't afford enough to eat.
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