The Superintendencia Nacional para la Defensa de los Derechos Socioeconomicos [National Superintendency for the Defence of Socio-economic Rights] (SUNDDE), the body responsible for regulating consumer product prices in Venezuela, raised the price of three cleaning products: chlorine, dish soap, and household disinfectants. The prices increased between 20% and 50% of their previous value.
The price increases, found here in their entirety, raise the bar on the maximum amount of money businesses are allowed to charge for the products. The last time the products had their prices revised was one year ago.
This is the second time this week that SUNDDE has increased prices on household products. On Saturday, the organization increased the price of shampoo by between 6%-57% (depending on the size of the bottle), and of diapers by 23%-103% (depending on the size of the package).
Carvajal Officially Stripped of Diplomatic Duties
Hugo Carvajal, the general-turned-diplomat-turned-accused drug trafficker was officially relieved of his diplomatic duties by the Venezuelan government today. The motion – found in the Gaceta Oficial numero 40.489 – states simply:
Cease the functions of the citizen Hugo Armando Carvajal Barrios, identification number V- 8.352.301, as Consul General of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Aruba.
Carvajal was proclaimed head diplomat on the Caribbean island earlier this year by the Venezuelan government, but never carried out any official duties as he was detained on accusations of drug trafficking. After a few days of legal and diplomatic manoeuvring, Carvajal was released by Dutch authorities, and he subsequently returned to Venezuela to a hero’s welcome.
Scarcity Hits Hard in Caracas
Journalists from the news website Noticiero Digital travelled to five different supermarkets in Caracas today in search of six household items: cooking oil, rice, corn flour, powdered milk and sugar.
All of the supermarkets visited suffered from severe scarcity. This is what the journalists found:
- Cooking Oil: Found in two of the five supermarkets (the Manuelita Saenz Mercal and the Bone Butin market).
- Corn flour: Found in one of the five supermarkets (the Central Madeirense).
- Powdered milk: Not found in any of the five supermarkets. The owner of one of the establishments said, “We never receive powdered milk”.
- Rice: Found in one of the five supermarkets. “Flavoured” rice was found in the other four.
- Sugar: Found in two of the supermarket (a Mercal and a Central Madeirense). In a Bicentenario supermarket, a staff member told the reporters, “Up until recently we had sugar, but now it’s gone”.
Maduro, El Aissami Heckled in Aragua
During an event in the state of Aragua today, Maduro and Aragua state governor Tarek El Aissami spoke before a crowd of local residents regarding the construction of homes in the area for lower-income families. During his speech, Maduro was interrupted by a number of people in the crowd who were evidently upset with what Maduro was saying. The video is below, followed by my translation:
Maduro: … only the conscience and the power of the people will allow us to consolidate this path towards defeating poverty and the construction of a society of equals, a socialist society. So, this socialist mission headquarters – Joanna, Roseanna… [yelling from the crowd] that’s already been fixed, girl. Calm down. We already heard you, and your project has been approved. I just approved it! [yelling intensifies] Let’s talk soon, let’s talk. Let me tell you, your attitude isn’t helping. I have to tell you live on air, your attitude doesn’t help you. We’ve already received your proposal, compatriots. I have it right here.
But your attitude… you know who’s the one who’s not listening? [pointing to someone in the crowd] You’re the one who’s not listening. Listen! We’re here to look after these matters and resolve them, but you don’t want to listen. That issue you’ve asked us about has already been resolved. [yelling intensifies again]
Tarek el Aissami: Look, you’re from the Virgen del Valle community, and from La Trinidad… there’s two… [yelling continues] La Trinidad, and the Virgen del Valle, correct? The President has just approved the inclusion of both communities. La Trinidad, which has 162 families, and the 160 families of the Virgen de Valle have both been included in the project to be considered for the construction of homes. He approved it. You have to listen.