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Food rationing by the Socialists.
Already in the state of Zulia in Venezuela, authorities are now looking to expand on the food appropriations cards seen above. The data is stored on a SIM card on the obverse of the card and readable by authorities.
If a person has bought their allotment of rice, milk or bread for that week then will be told they can’t purchase it and it will go back onto the shelf. This is assuming the store has any of those things to begin with.
Over the last four months poorer states in Venezuela have been subjected to long lines at stores and empty shelves. The famine is now hitting larger states in Venezuela and such is why the government is expanding the card system.
Army stops ‘empty pots’ march
Hundreds of National Guardsmen in riot gear and armoured vehicles prevented an “empty pots march” from reaching Venezuela’s food ministry on Saturday to protest against chronic food shortages.
Later on Saturday, several hundred student protesters trying to block streets with barricades skirmished with riot police who fired tear gas in the wealthy Caracas district of Chacao, in what has become a near daily ritual.
There were no immediate reports of injuries as motorcycle-mounted riot police, taunted from apartment buildings, chased protesters through darkening streets reports the UK Guardian.
Earlier, more than 5,000 protesters banged pots, blew horns and whistles and carried banners in the capital to decry crippling inflation and shortages of basics including flour, milk and toilet paper. Similar protests were held in at least five other cities.
All over Venezuela, people spend hours every week queuing at supermarkets, often before dawn, without even knowing what may arrive.
“There’s nothing to buy. You can only buy what the government lets enter the country because everything is imported. There’s no beef. There’s no chicken,” said Zoraida Carrillo, a 50-year-old marcher in Caracas.
The capital’s government-allied mayor had refused the marchers a permit to hold the “empty pots” rally, leading opposition leader Henrique Capriles to accuse authorities of trying to “criminalise” peaceful protests.
“Nicolas [Maduro] is afraid of the empty pots of our people. He mobilises hundreds of soldiers against empty pots,” he said of the man who defeated him by a razor-thin margin in April presidential elections.
Capriles also reiterated opposition complaints that the government is sending “functionaries and groups of paramilitaries which they have armed to put down protests”.
Maduro has faced several weeks of daily student-led protests across the nation, which he claims are an attempt by far-right provocateurs to overthrow him. They have been joined by mostly middle-class Venezuelans fed up with inflation that reached 56% last year and one of the highest murder rates in the world.
Late on Friday in Washington, the OAS approved a declaration that rejected violence and called for justice for the 21 people the government says have died in street protests since 12 February. The declaration offered “full support” for a government peace initiative that the opposition has refused to join until dozens of jailed protesters and an opposition leader are freed.
Twenty-nine countries voted in favor of the declaration after 15 hours of debate spread over two days. After Panama sought discussion of the crisis in the body, Venezuela broke off relations and expelled its ambassador and three other diplomats.
The objections from Washington and Panama attached to the declaration were longer than the declaration itself. They argued that it violated OAS rules by taking sides.
“The OAS cannot sanction a dialogue in which much of the opposition has no voice and no faith,” the US objection said. “Only Venezuelans can find the solutions to Venezuela’s problems, but the situation in Venezuela today makes it imperative that a trusted third party facilitate the conversation as Venezuelans search for those solutions.”
|Marchers in Caracas bang pots in protest at food shortages. |
Photograph: Jesus Gil/Demotix/Corbis