A riot almost broke out at a Makro supermarket in Los Teques, Miranda state, when dozens shoppers fought each other over laundry detergent:

The video was published today.

Scarcity Levels are “Normal”: Gov’t Official

The vice-president of Nutritional Sovereignty, Carlos Osorio, qualified the level of scarcity seen in Venezuela today as “normal” when he made the following remarks to the media earlier today:

We’ve examined the levels of product reception and we’ve found them to be normal for a date such as the one today. We’ve just come out of the holiday season.

Venezuela has been facing widespread, crippling scarcity over the last several months. The scarcity affects virtually every food and home staple, from rice, butter and eggs to toilet paper and toothpaste.

The president of the Asociacion Nacional de Supermercados y Autoservicio [National Association of Supermarkets and Self-Service[?]], Luis Rodriguez, echoed Osorio’s assertion that the situation was normal and blamed a busy shopping season for the scarcity, saying:

We didn’t count on increased sales during the last part of December. This caused our [supermarket] shelves to appear empty at the beginning of the week. This is really normal. It’s happened in previous years.

In an attempt deter Venezuelans from taking pictures of empty supermarket shelves and posting them on social media websites, Rodriguez reminded listeners that such activities are not O.K.:

There’s a policy of not taking pictures [in supermarkets] because each supermarket as its own way of managing and arranging shelves so that their competition will not copy them.

Minister of the Economy: China Has “Total Trust” in Venezuela

Minister of the Economy Rodolfo Marcos Torres spoke today on his ongoing trip to China as part of Maduro’s entourage. Torres stressed his belief that China remains a strong economic ally of Venezuela, saying:

China manifests its total trust in our country, and they want to invest soon.

Another member of the mission to China, vice-president of Planning and Knowledge Ricardo Mendez, said:

Every company with which we’ve spoken has said that they want to go to Venezuela to take part in the seminars we’ll hold about the special economic zones.

The “special economic zones” to which Mendez referred were created in late 2014 to aid with the exporting of Venezuelan goods. Two such zones exist: one in Ureña, Tachira state, and the other in Paraguana, Falcon state. The zones are the epicentres of legal and economic projects which seek to open up the Venezuelan economy to Colombia and the world, respectively.

Imminent Devaluation Rumours Grow

Rumours that Maduro will announce radical changes to the Venezuelan economy – including a devaluation of the Bolivar – have been grown for weeks. They have been spurred by the fact that Maduro has failed on numerous occassions to give any kind of concrete detail regarding the much awaited changes.

Rodolfo Marcos Torres announced today that Maduro will definitely make the announcement, whatever it may be, when he returns from his overseas trip:

When we return to Venezuela, we will inform [you] of all the actions that we’re going to take.

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