President Maduro of Venezuela announced a mandatory fingerprinting program in supermarkets in order to supposedly combat shortages and smuggling. The socialist dictator doesn’t want people buying too much of a single item.
The fingerprinting technique will only apply to certain items, which opponents of the plans say amounts to rationing and treats Venezuelans as thieves. The BBC reports that up to 40% of the goods which Venezuela subsidies for its markets are smuggled to Colombia and sold for higher prices. (Related: The Fruits Of Socialism In Venezuela)
“The amount of staples smuggled to Colombia would be enough to load the shelves of our supermarkets,” Gen Efrain Velasco Lugo, a military spokesman, told El Universal newspaper earlier this week.
The opposition blames what it says are the failed left-wing policies of the past 15 years – initiated by late President Hugo Chavez – for the country’s economic crisis.
Dissatisfaction with the shortage of many staples, as well as rampant crime and high inflation, led thousands of people in the western Venezuelan states of Tachira and Merida to take to the streets in January.
The protests quickly spread to the rest of Venezuela, which faces similar problems.