Speaking on the new biometric rationing system due out later this year, Maduro said that those who have voiced their disapproval for it so far are simply confused. Maduro explained, saying:
Those who oppose the biometric system are confused. The biometric system [isn’t meant] to regulate, [it’s meant] to ensure that everything the republic produces reaches the people.
The system will liberate us from smugglers, so that people may freely go to any supermarket and find their products. This system will liberate us, not oppress us. It’s so that everything the republic produces can reach the people instead of going to Colombia, or to some street corner so they can sell it for more.
Maduro then said that the system will indeed limit purchases, and called on Venezuelans to “give up your material ambitions”.
Maduro reiterated his point later, saying:
The biometric system isn’t going to ration anything, it’s so that the people can find their products, to liberate us… the best explanation will come once the system is up and running.
He also said that a list of basic necessities will be published on Monday. Items on the list cannot be exported from the country. Any official found aiding in the export of any of the items on the list will face undisclosed penalties. Maduro said:
The exporting of basic dietary products is prohibited. Venezuela will not export those foods. She produces them so we can consume them.
November 30 was named as a tentative date for the first day of the new rationing system.
New Calls for Medical Emergency Declaration
The president of the Federacion Medica Venezolana [Venezuelan Medical Federation] asked the government to declare a medical emergency in the country, after revealing that 97% of health centres are operating with just between 2-4% of the total number of supplies needed to operate effectively. Douglas Leon Natera said:
We ask the Ministry of Health to take this seriously. We’ve brought this up a few times. There’s almost nothing left in the hospitals.
Natera also raised another important point. According to his association, doctors are finding it difficult to leave the country to develop their professional skills abroad due to the difficulties in receiving foreign currency from the government.
Below, pictures of a protest on a road in the Mis Viejos neighbourhood of Barquisimeto, Lara state. Neighbours blocked the road today allegedly in protest to the lack of access to drinking water:
Finally, pictures of a line up and empty shelves at the Caracas Makro, a large supermarket. The pictures are from this week:
Two hopeful shoppers show their tickets guaranteeing their place in line: Numbers 1268 and 1269:
Armed National Guard soldiers patrolled the supermarket, supposedly to help maintain order:
What scarcity looks like: