Maduro attempted to set the record straight today on the discussion regarding who exactly is responsible for t he scarcity crisis in the country. He said that the government and its policies are not to blame. Maduro said:
The [critics] say that Maduro has made some policy errors. This isn’t Maduro’s fault. What about the smuggling war, the speculative hoarding waves, the international harassment of the coffers of the republic?
Maduro then shifted the entirety of the blame for the crisis onto what he calls the bourgeois:
The bourgeois has taken to waging economic war to plunge the country into chaos. It’s not the first time they’ve done this… it’s a national battle, it’s a battle between a people and an economic war.
He also put to rest any hopes that the scarcity crisis would lead to a liberalization of Venezuelan markets. he called any suggestion to soften economic policy as “capitalist” and “coming form the right”:
We’ve adapted, updated and we are in the process of improving the control mechanisms before and after assigning foreign currency. But the republic’s dollars, as long as the revolution is a revolution and power belongs to the people, the dollars will belong to the republic and never again will they belong to the bourgeois.
Maduro Tries To Sell Ration System
For the first time since announcing the implementation of the fingerprint rationing system, Maduro provided an example to give Venezuelans an idea of what the ration limits would be like.
Maduro spoke about a hypothetical family of 8. He said that this family would only need about 2 tins of powdered milk per month. He also said that growing up in his own family of 8, he was able to live “with about 3 packets of corn flour, a chicken and a half, sometimes two kilograms of chicken and sugar“.
He also denied that Venezuela was suffering from a food scarcity crisis, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Maduro said:
Our people are robust… 95.6% of Venezuelan families eat three times a day thanks to the revolution.
FEDECAMARAS Calls Ration System “Unfortunate Decision”
Jorge Roig, the president of the Federación de Cámaras y Asociaciones de Comercio y Producción de Venezuela [Venezuelan Federation of Chambers of Commerce] (FEDECAMARAS), qualified the governmnet’s decision to attempt to solve the scarcity crisis through the use of a biometric rationing system as “unfortunate”.
Roig put it bluntly, saying:
The private sector does not agree with this system. A businessperson cannot agree with limitations on how much a consumer needs to buy. The new biometric system will not resolve the scarcity problem in the country.
He also weighed in on what he considers to be the primary cause of the scarcity crisis:
… the cause of the scarcity is a lack of national production. The solution is to produce more.
Roig said that the only thing the fingerprint scanning system will achieve is create a new breed of sophisticated smuggler, who will now be forced to adapt – but will inevitably overcome – the new control measure.
Hospital Universitario Cancels Operations Due to Lack of Anaesthetics
Jose Manuel Olivares, an oncologist at the Hospital Universitario in Caracas, announced today that the hospital’s operating room was cancelling all operations due to a lack of neostigmine, a chemical used in the anaesthetic process.
Olivares called on the government to inspect the hospital so that they might see first hand the conditions in which tehy are woroking. According to Olivares, there are 6,000 people on the waiting list for operations at the hospital, including 500 children.
Finally, video of the protests in San Cristobal yesterday, including the moment a National Guard truck crashed into the gate of an apartment complex: