HANGING ON: Commuters ride on a cargo truck used for public transport in Valencia, Venezuela, on July 11. –Photo: REUTERS

ON a recent afternoon, a crowd of hundreds massed on the pavement outside an exit from the subway in the central Venezuelan city of Valencia.

But when a flatbed truck previously used to transport water bottles pulled up nearby, a ruthless scramble kicked off with pregnant women, parents holding toddlers and elderly Venezuelans all jostling to get themselves aboard.

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Sprawling and flanked by massive trees and well-manicured lawns, The University of The West Indies St Augustine campus, was a place always teeming with students, lecturers and academics.

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