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Venezuela solves food shortage by making it illegal to buy too much
The Washington Post ^ | 9/15/2016 | Mariana Zuņiga and Nick Miroff

Posted on 09/15/2016 12:08:10 PM PDT by Laser_Ray

BARQUISIMETO, Venezuela – The hunt for food started at 4 a.m., when Alexis Camascaro woke up to get in line outside the supermarket. By the time he arrived, there were already 100 people ahead of him.

Camascaro never made it inside. Truckloads of Venezuelan troops arrived in the darkness, arresting him and nearly 30 others seemingly pulled from the queue at random, according to his lawyer. Camascaro, 50, was charged with violating laws against interfering "directly or indirectly" with the production, transportation or sale of food. He has been in jail for three months, awaiting a hearing.

“I went to see the prosecutors and explained that he was just buying some food for his family. He’s not a bachaquero,” said Lucía Mata, Camascaro’s attorney, using the Venezuelan term for someone who buys scarce, price-capped or government-subsidized goods to resell on the black market.

Camascaro was snared in a new crackdown on Venezuelan shoppers, part of President Nicolás Maduro’s attempt to assert greater control over food distribution and consumption. Maduro blames this oil-rich country’s chronic scarcities on an “economic war” against his government waged by foreign enemies, opposition leaders, business owners and smuggling gangs.

Many economists attribute the shortages to simpler, less conspiratorial factors. Price controls and excessive regulation, they say, have discouraged domestic production, making Venezuelans ever more dependent on imported food. With petroleum prices slumping, though, hard currency for imports is lacking, leaving supermarket shelves bare.

Deadly food riots have exploded in several Venezuelan cities this year, and Maduro in recent weeks has faced rowdy pot-banging protests. In July, he gave Venezuela’s defense minister extraordinary powers to oversee the government’s elaborate system of price controls and consumer regulations, including the fingerprint scanners used to ensure that Venezuelan shoppers don’t exceed their purchase limits.

[Venezuelans are storming supermarkets as food supplies dwindle]

The enforcement campaign appears to be sweeping up a significant number of ordinary shoppers, many of them poor, while achieving a kind of vertical integration of economic blame. ‘Dracula’s Bus’

In a country with one of the world’s highest homicide rates, and where carjackings, muggings and kidnappings often go unpunished, the Venezuelan government has arrested or detained at least 9,400 people this year for allegedly breaking laws against hoarding, reselling goods or attempting to stand in line outside normal store hours, according to the Venezuelan human rights organization Movimiento Vinotinto. Many were taken into custody by the Venezuelan troops assigned to police the checkout aisles and the long lines snaking from supermarkets.

Ismary Quiros, a deputy director at Movimiento Vinotinto, said the law doesn't define exactly what constitutes illegal hoarding, smuggling, or reselling goods. She said the government’s real goal is to find scapegoats for the scarcities.

The queues typically materialize whenever high-demand, government-subsidized items arrive, such as corn meal or sugar. Those goods are among the few basics that remain affordable to ordinary Venezuelans who are paid in bolivares, the country's increasingly worthless currency. Other supermarket items that aren't price-capped are typically better stocked but out of reach to most families.

According to the Caracas-based rights group Provea, national guard troops have periodically carried out a mass-arrest operation nicknamed “Dracula’s Bus” to round up Venezuelans trying to wait in line overnight for groceries, now a banned practice. More than 1,000 people were loaded onto buses in such sweeps last year and accused of being black marketeers, Provea researcher Intis Rodríguez said.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: econonmy; famine; government; socialism; venezuela
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At a Venezuelan supermarket:

"Comrade Captain, there are a hundred people waiting to buy rice, but there are only twenty sacks!" "Do not worry, Comrade Merchant, we will make sure none of them buy more than one sack! Anyone who does will be SHOT!"

1 posted on 09/15/2016 12:08:10 PM PDT by Laser_Ray
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To: Laser_Ray

Coming soon to an Obamanation near you.


2 posted on 09/15/2016 12:11:59 PM PDT by Bubba_Leroy (Never Hillary)
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To: Laser_Ray; Kartographer

Prepper Ping!


3 posted on 09/15/2016 12:12:17 PM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (I don't have 'Hobbies.' I'm developing a robust Post-Apocalyptic skill set!)
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To: Laser_Ray

obama is so jealous. This is what he wants. A starving populace BEGGING for their lives from him.


4 posted on 09/15/2016 12:13:17 PM PDT by Organic Panic (Hillary Clinton, the elderly woman's version of "I dindu nuffins.")
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To: Laser_Ray
Man, those socialists know how to solve problems! They should outlaw long lines and complaining about the lack of food for your kids. They should look to the North Korean paradise for ideas.
5 posted on 09/15/2016 12:13:51 PM PDT by corlorde (11B3P)
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To: Laser_Ray

I cannot even imagine what these poor saps are going through. But, you get what you vote for...and we, in the USA are going to change our downward course.

Right? RIGHT? I sure hope so!

Hillary! would watch us all starve. Gleefully!


6 posted on 09/15/2016 12:14:30 PM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (I don't have 'Hobbies.' I'm developing a robust Post-Apocalyptic skill set!)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

And the few times this gets reported, no mention that it is socialism/communism causing it.


7 posted on 09/15/2016 12:16:38 PM PDT by tbw2
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To: Laser_Ray

Leftist Socialist Communist policy got them in a situation where rationing can’t be avoided.

That’s where these political systems always wind up.

The U.S.S.R. couldn’t even provide toilet paper to it’s citizens.

Imagine a super-power level nation, and they can’t produce enough toilet paper.

None the less, lets try it here! /s

Good grief we have dumb folks on parade...


8 posted on 09/15/2016 12:21:46 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Fifty-five days until we take measures to end this nightmare. Trump, for the Free World...)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin; TMSuchman

TMSuchman has taken the prepper ping list.


9 posted on 09/15/2016 12:22:18 PM PDT by metmom (...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith...)
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To: Laser_Ray
The old radical adage at work:

'What ever you have, over and above that which you need, you took from someone else'**

10 posted on 09/15/2016 12:29:12 PM PDT by n230099 ("When no one knows who is armed...everyone is.")
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To: metmom

Thanks!


11 posted on 09/15/2016 12:29:21 PM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (I don't have 'Hobbies.' I'm developing a robust Post-Apocalyptic skill set!)
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To: Laser_Ray

“Too much” = “more than you need”

What you “need” is up to the Commisar


12 posted on 09/15/2016 12:29:56 PM PDT by shalom aleichem
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To: Laser_Ray
I find it interesting that rather than police the rioting, line-jumping and theft during the day, the military chose to work in the middle of the night.

They harrass peaceful, hard-woring citizens giving up sleep to maybe feed their families. Cowardice or just PR?

Okay, I'll admit there's probably a thriving black market (inevitable when there's shortages), but I'd be willing to bet it's happening at the BACK door, not the front.

13 posted on 09/15/2016 12:53:06 PM PDT by ZOOKER (Until further notice the /s is implied...)
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To: Laser_Ray
Maduro blames this oil-rich country’s chronic scarcities on an “economic war” against his government waged by foreign enemies, opposition leaders, business owners and smuggling gangs.

I wonder what happened to his memo from the DNC to blame George W. Bush?

14 posted on 09/15/2016 1:04:50 PM PDT by libertylover (The problem with Obama is not that his skin is too black, it's that his ideas are too RED.)
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To: Laser_Ray
He has been in jail for three months, awaiting a hearing...Camascaro was snared in a new crackdown...

If he's been in jail for three months, it does not sound like a *new* crackdown.

The sad part is that the current misery of Venezuela is completely self-inflicted. It does not matter whether socialism is imposed by revolution, or peacefully through heavily propagandized voters--the end result is the same. Shortages, and the goods that do exist are shoddy. And cities become hellholes.

15 posted on 09/15/2016 1:06:14 PM PDT by exDemMom (Current visual of the hole the US continues to dig itself into: http://www.usdebtclock.org/)
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To: Laser_Ray

Sorry. I don’t care. Even though Venezuelans will probably end up hanging Maduro from a light post, they voted for him and Chavez and deserve what they are getting.

I only hope after all the fires are put out, they really remember what happened and don’t do it again.


16 posted on 09/15/2016 1:11:23 PM PDT by VanShuyten ("a shadow...draped nobly in the folds of a gorgeous eloquence.")
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To: Laser_Ray

This is economically the most brilliant thing Maduro has done.

It’s well known that price controls are created in order to answer complaints about high prices. It’s also well known that they inevitably create shortages, because they don’t allow the supply and demand curves to meet.

So, with this new edict, Maduro has suppressed demand. Now supply (which is near zero due to price controls) and demand (which is suppressed under government threat) can once again come into Marshallian equilibrium, again showing the economic wisdom of socialist policies.

/S for those who need it


17 posted on 09/15/2016 1:26:02 PM PDT by Pearls Before Swine
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To: Bubba_Leroy

Looking at Venezuela, Obama said, “Yes we did”.

Take it from there.


18 posted on 09/15/2016 2:00:59 PM PDT by MadMax, the Grinning Reaper
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To: Laser_Ray

Huge Chavez is no longer consuming.

19 posted on 09/15/2016 2:17:31 PM PDT by dangus
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To: Organic Panic

Obama fails to grasp the simple fact that if he keeps it up, he will be begging for his life from the people


20 posted on 09/15/2016 2:23:18 PM PDT by Thibodeaux (Exile Barack, Exile the Wookie, Exile Malia, Exile Shasha)
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