The Americas

Looting leaves stores in ruins in Venezuela's Ciudad Bolivar

  • A store owner repairs the security gate at the entrance to his grocery store looted by demonstrators the night before, in Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. Last week, President Nicolas Maduro made an announcement annulling all 100-bolivar notes leading to massive lines at banks, and cash transactions such as buying food or gasoline extremely difficult. Maduro suddenly changed course late Saturday, announcing the 100-bolivar notes could be used until Jan. 2. Before that announcement riots and looting broke out in several cities. (AP Photo/Alejandro Cegarra)

    A store owner repairs the security gate at the entrance to his grocery store looted by demonstrators the night before, in Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. Last week, President Nicolas Maduro made an announcement annulling all 100-bolivar notes leading to massive lines at banks, and cash transactions such as buying food or gasoline extremely difficult. Maduro suddenly changed course late Saturday, announcing the 100-bolivar notes could be used until Jan. 2. Before that announcement riots and looting broke out in several cities. (AP Photo/Alejandro Cegarra)  (The Associated Press)

  • A grocery store is left in disarray after it was looted by demonstrators the night before, in Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. Last week, President Nicolas Maduro made an announcement annulling all 100-bolivar notes leading to massive lines at banks, and cash transactions such as buying food or gasoline extremely difficult. Maduro suddenly changed course late Saturday, announcing the 100-bolivar notes could be used until Jan. 2 Before that announcement riots and looting broke out in several cities. (AP Photo/Alejandro Cegarra)

    A grocery store is left in disarray after it was looted by demonstrators the night before, in Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. Last week, President Nicolas Maduro made an announcement annulling all 100-bolivar notes leading to massive lines at banks, and cash transactions such as buying food or gasoline extremely difficult. Maduro suddenly changed course late Saturday, announcing the 100-bolivar notes could be used until Jan. 2 Before that announcement riots and looting broke out in several cities. (AP Photo/Alejandro Cegarra)  (The Associated Press)

  • A man walks past a grocery store looted by demonstrators the night before in Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. Last week, President Nicolas Maduro made an announcement annulling all 100-bolivar notes leading to massive lines at banks, and cash transactions such as buying food or gasoline extremely difficult. Maduro suddenly changed course late Saturday, announcing the 100-bolivar notes could be used until Jan. 2. Before that announcement riots and looting broke out in several cities. (AP Photo/Alejandro Cegarra)

    A man walks past a grocery store looted by demonstrators the night before in Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. Last week, President Nicolas Maduro made an announcement annulling all 100-bolivar notes leading to massive lines at banks, and cash transactions such as buying food or gasoline extremely difficult. Maduro suddenly changed course late Saturday, announcing the 100-bolivar notes could be used until Jan. 2. Before that announcement riots and looting broke out in several cities. (AP Photo/Alejandro Cegarra)  (The Associated Press)

Hundreds of people in Venezuela's Ciudad Bolivar are massing outside the few supermarkets that survived massive looting over the weekend, waiting for them to open.

Dozens of businesses were destroyed or ransacked. Streets are full of trash, rubble and burned motorcycles from the protests and looting that wracked the riverside city in Venezuela's interior.

Austerio Gonzalez is president of the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He estimates that about 80 percent of stores that sell food in the city were ransacked.

Riots and protests broke out in Ciudad Bolivar and elsewhere over President Nicolas Maduro's sudden decision to scrap the country's most widely used currency note.

Hundreds of police and soldiers have been deployed to the city's streets. But many stores remained closed Monday for fears of more looting.