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Christmas Crackdown Continues for Venezuela’s Consumer Protection Agency

SUNDDE head William Contreras has alleged EPK was selling products at mark ups of over 500 percent. (SUNDDE/hand out)

Venezuela’s consumer protection agency isn’t wishing price speculators a merry Christmas.

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What is at Stake is not the Stability of a Government but the Viability of a Nation

Economist and ex-minister Victor Alvarez (archives)

In this interview, investigator and former Mining and Basic Industries Minister, Victor Alvarez, argues that the government must implement an economic stabilisation plan with social welfare before it is too late.

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Venezuela Announces New Currency Exchange Mechanism Based on “Supply and Demand”

The measure officially comes into effect this Wednesday (Aporrea).

The Venezuelan Central Bank has announced the creation of a new currency exchange entity known as SIMADI, which will allow dollars to be sold and purchased legally according to “market rates”. The new mechanism will operate alongside SICAD I and SICAD II, which will continue to sell dollars at an exchange rate set by the government. 

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Venezuelans Protest Big Business for their Role in the Economic War

Cory Fischer-Hoffman/Venezuelanalysis

Amidst the ongoing “economic war” in Venezuela, 200 people from various political collectives marched to Fedecamaras headquarters to place a spotlight on how the largest business confederation may be contributing to scarcity, inflation and speculation in Venezuela. 

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Venezuelan Biometric System Sees Positive Results amid Opposition Boycott

A biometric scanner. (

Now installed in 11 major supermarket chains nationwide, the biometric system initiated by the Venezuelan government to combat scarcity has produced immediate results. 

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Venezuelan Government Seeks to Curb Speculation, Smuggling of Food Products

The developments are part of an effort to reduce long lines and shortages in supermarkets (Reuters)

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.

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Venezuelan Government Blames “Import Mafias” for Alleged Paper Shortage

The Venezuelan government claims that sufficient dollars have been supplied for paper purchase, and instead blames paper import

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.

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Following Huge Car Industry Speculation in Venezuela, Maduro Permits Dollar Car Import Bank Accounts

Maduro signing decree 625 last night (Prensa Presidencial)

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.

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Protesting Against Consumerism in Venezuela

Protest in Merida against consumerism. Placards (from left to right) “fight against speculation”, “0-800 Consciousness”

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.

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Are the Military Occupations of Stores Evidence that the Venezuelan Government is Descending into Tyranny?

Soldiers outside a Daka store in Caracas (Ariana Cubillos/AP)

Despite the Western media’s outrage, there are legitimate reasons for the occupation of stores by Venezuela’s military.

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