Communism's Rotten Harvest
Leftist scum crushes the freedom and dreams of the people.
(The Telegraph) - Venezuela's embattled government has taken the drastic step of forcing food producers to sell their produce to the state, in a bid to counter the ever-worsening shortages.
Farmers and manufacturers who produce milk, pasta, oil, rice, sugar and flour have been told to supply between 30 per cent and 100 per cent of their products to the state stores.
Shortages, rationing and queues outside supermarkets have become a way of life for Venezuelans, as their isolated country battles against rigid currency controls and a shortage of US dollars – making it difficult for Venezuelans to find imported goods.
Pablo Baraybar, president of the Venezuelan Food Industry Chamber, said that the order was illogical, and damaging to Venezuelan consumers.
"Taking products from the supermarkets and shops to hand them over to the state network doesn't help in any way," he said. "And problems like speculating will only get worse, because the foods will be concentrated precisely in the areas where the resellers go.
He pointed to statistics showing that two thirds of hoarders – or "bachaqueros", giant ants, as they are nicknamed in Venezuela – buy their goods from the three state-owned chains, to resell at a profit.
"Consumers will be forced to spend more time in queues, given that the goods will be available in fewer stores."
The state owns 7,245 stores, compared to more than 113,000 in private hands. Mr Baraybar said that many of the private shops were in densely-populated areas, meaning that people will now be forced to make longer journeys to the state stores.
VICE News headed to Venezuela's capital of Caracas to cover protests that started in the provinces before engulfing the city. What began as a student movement inspired by the scarcity of basic goods and an exploding crime rate — the UN has classified Venezuela as the world's murder capital, war zones excluded — had snowballed into mass anti-government riots.