Reports from Cuba’s Venezuela: The ‘R’ word
Our calendar says it’s 2014, but Venezuela seems to be stuck in the XXth Century: we are dealing with the return of malaria, and shortages. Yes… the country with the largest proven oil reserves in the world is -ironically- filled with empty supermarket and pharmacy shelves. Needless to say, Venezuela is in a recession. Again. And now, a gizmo-laden new biometric rationing system.
The Fair Prices Superintendent, Andrés Eloy Méndez, claimed that the biometric system would “allow families to purchase a sufficient amount every week”. So… if “sufficient” means a “fixed amount” or at least a maximum amount, then he’s clearly talking about rationing… Right?
In a classic case of using words to mean the opposite of what they mean, Maduro lamely tried to reassure us that “the system will not ration anything”. BS. The biometric system limits how much of a given thing you can buy in a given period of time: that’s more or less the dictionary definition of rationing. “To ration” is to “allow each person to have only a fixed amount of (a commodity)”. What Bolivarian Socialism has wrought is just a 21st century version rationing card, much like the one used in Cuba since 1963 only, y’know, electronic.
It’s not the first we hear of this. Back on March 8th, 2014, Maduro announced the “Tarjeta de Abastecimiento Seguro”, which would complement a biometric system to control sales and –according to Maduro- prevent smuggling and speculation.
Though the biometric system was originally supposed be implemented on government-owned and subsidized supermarkets like Pdval, Mercal and Abastos Bicentenario, the Central Government recently announced that the biometric system would be expanded to private supermarkets.
Not only is this system unconstitutional (just like our friend @ignandez clearly explains in Spanish in Prodavinci), it’s also falsely presented as the solution for the shortages that we Venezuelans face on a daily basis.
Rationing is a clear sign of the decay of the so-called “Socialismo del Siglo XXI”, just like it was of the Classic Socialist System of the XX Century. But, has one would often hear, those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.
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