A report from teleSur's Rachael Boothroyd from Caracas on Venezuelan government markets that sell food at subsidized prices to the population. A recurring problem is the re-sale of such produce by speculators on the black market; in fact, an estimated 40% of food imports wind up in the hands of smugglers. The government is taking measures to address the problem.
International and local private media have accused the Venezuelan government of infringing “freedom of expression and information” by restricting newspapers’ access to official exchange rate dollars, and therefore their ability to import paper. The government however says the dollars have been supplied, and blames speculating paper import companies.
From today, Venezuelan citizens and residents who have legally acquired dollars will be able to open foreign currency accounts in public Venezuelan banks. They will also be able to use those accounts to purchase cars overseas, following a decree that President Nicolas Maduro signed yesterday.
As the Venezuelan government continues to crack down on hoarding and speculation, this week a small protest against consumerism took place in Merida. In many parts of the country there have been large lines outside stores forced to lower prices and supermarkets where scarce goods appear, while nationwide the consumer protection body Indepabis is regularly inspecting businesses for price infractions.
These last two weeks have attested to a process of assuming positions in economic policy. The decisions that the government is taking on economic questions are the result of a calculation in the scenario of political and social confrontation.