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Cripes, what a mess!

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  • Cripes, what a mess!

    CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Battling food shortages, the government is rolling out a new ID system that is either a grocery loyalty card with extra muscle or the most dramatic step yet toward rationing in Venezuela, depending on who is describing it.


    "The rich people have things all hoarded away, and they pull the strings," said Juan Rodriguez, who waited two hours to enter the government-run Abastos Bicentenario supermarket near downtown Caracas on Monday, and then waited another three hours to check out.

    Rigid currency controls and a shortage of U.S. dollars make it increasingly difficult for Venezuelans to find imported basic products like milk, flour, toilet paper and cooking oil. Price controls don't help either, with producers complaining that some goods are priced too low to make a profit and justify production.


    Expressionless men with rifles patrolled the warehouse-size supermarket Monday as shoppers hurried by, focusing on grabbing meat and pantry items before they were gone. Long shelves that should have been heaped with rice and coffee instead displayed six brands of ketchup. There was plenty of frozen beef selling for 22.64 bolivars a kilogram - $3.59 at the official exchange rate, or 32 cents at the black market rate increasingly used in pricing goods.

    A local consumer watchdog, the National User and Consumer Alliance, invokes the specter of Cuba's struggling economy and calls the ID program rationing by another name. It predicts all Venezuelans without cards will soon be barred from shopping at state supermarkets.


    Complaints aren't heard in the long lines at government supermarkets. One young mother shielded her eyes against the afternoon sun as she approached a cashier with sugar, flour and Frosted Flakes cereal. She arrived at 10 a.m., but didn't blame the government or its opponents for the long wait.

    "I don't know if it's worth it, but when my children are crying what else can you do," said the woman, who declined to provide her name as an armed National Guardsmen watched her at the checkout line.

    She planned another five-hour run to another supermarket Tuesday to get everything out of stock at the downtown store.
    I was originally going to tee-hee about the whole needing of ID thing (relative to voter ID), but this story ultimately just made me, frankly, very sad. These people are living, effectively, in the 1958 Soviet Union. Seems that most of them are so used to this that they just don't know or remember any better. What a sad disaster for this potentially proud and prosperous country that has been absolutely augured-in over the last twenty years to come to this horrific state.

    How incredibly sad for these people what Leftist policies have done to them! Now people have to scramble for scarce, expensive (the median income in Caracas is 20,000 bolivars, meaning that that 2.2 lbs. of ground beef represents about 13% of one's monthly salary, just for two pounds of ground beef!) items in a grocery store patrolled by armed military. Can you imagine going to your local Target or Wal-Mart or Harris Teeter and having to first wait in line for hours just to get in, and then have to "shop" under the threat of armed military making sure that you don't buy too much toilet paper?

    Good Lord.
    It's been ten years since that lonely day I left you
    In the morning rain, smoking gun in hand
    Ten lonely years but how my heart, it still remembers
    Pray for me, momma, I'm a gypsy now

  • #2
    Nothing is more precious than time which is why tyrannical societies force people to surrender so much of it. Most of the victims are women since a woman's time is so useless in these regimes. If she isn't working for the State, working for her family, or standing in endless lines - what would she be doing? Thinking? We can't have that.
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."


    • #3
      It is like the Soviet Union. Leftists thought of Venezuela as some sort of utopia years ago. Scary.