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Diosdado Cabello, the vice-president of the National Assembly, spoke at length today on a number of topics, including the biometric rationing system announced last week. According to Cabello – and contrary to what Maduro said last week – the biometric rationing system will only be installed in government-owned supermarkets in the states bordering Colombia.

Just last week, Maduro said that every single supermarket – private or public – in every single state would be forced to install the system.

Speaking on the television show Dialogo con…  hosted by Carlos Croes, Cabello said:

A lot of food is imported into Venezuela, but the food does not get to where it’s supposed to go. Beyond that, what we want to do with the fingerprint scanners is avoid the fraud that is affecting all Venezuelans when it comes to food.

He also specifically addressed the nature of the rationing system, and whether or not it would actually limit the amount of food you can purchase:

No one’s going to tell you that you can’t buy two packs of corn flour. That’s not real. That’s not real. What we want to know is who – because this is a thing that happens – that a person goes 10 times to the supermarket. 10 times, in one day, to the supermarket. Who goes to the supermarket 10 times a day, Carlos?

Croes interrupted Cabello at this point, saying that if Venezuela was able to produce enough food to meet demand this wouldn’t be happening, and that “this [scarcity] didn’t exist before”. Cabello replied by saying that Venezuela was the victim of an “economic war” aimed at removing Maduro from power.

Most shockingly, at another time during the interview, Cabello asserted that Venezuela had never really produced any food to begin with. He said:

Cabello: Look, Carlos, there’s never been a production apparatus here… no one has ever produced anything here.
Croes: So how do we survive? We used to export rice, for example, and sugar…
CabelloWe used to produce but before people almost didn’t eat here, Carlos. You remember that eating used to be really complicated, there was no Mercal for the people.

RUMOUR: Government “Shake-Up” Takes Shape: Vice-President, Three Ministers to be Removed

The much-hyped sacudon [literally, “shake-up” of Maduro’s cabinet] might actually be a dud.

According to anonymous sources within the PSUV, the sacudon might possibly involve just three posts:

  • The Vice-Presidency: Currently held by Jorge Arreaza, to be possibly replaced by Elias Jaua, Diosdado Cabello or Rafael Ramirez.
  • The Ministry of Oil, Minerals and PDVSA: Currently held by Rafael Ramirez, to be possibly replaced by an unnamed individual.
  • The Government of the Capital District: Currently held by Jacqueline Faria, to be possibly merged by the Ministry of the Transformation of Caracas and be replaced by Ernesto Villegas.

The information is unofficial, and as such, has not been verified.

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