The price of pasta and cooking oil increased today as per orders from the Superintendencia de Precios Justos (SUNDDE) [Superintendence of Fair Prices], the government body responsible for regulating prices in the country. Below, the price breakdowns of the two products:
- Cooking oil:
- Corn: Bs. 28.00 per litre
- Sunflower: Bs. 25 per litre
- Mixed: Bs. 21.07 per litre
- 250 grams: Bs. 5.99
- 500 grams: Bs. 9.37
- 1 kilogram: Bs. 15.00
Specially in recent months, the gap between the government’s mandated prices and the reality in Venezuelan supermarkets has grown more and more distorted, fuelled in part by scarcity and rapidly increasing inflation. Regardless, the increases are steep, as a kilogram of pasta previously cost Bs. 5.41 per kilogram while a litre of corn oil previously cost Bs. 10.00.
Pasta Industry Says Fair Prices Still Not Realistic
Simon Nobile, the president of the Asociacion Venezolana de la Industria de Pastas (AVEPASTAS) [Association of Venezuelan Pasta Industry] spoke on the increased pasta prices today, saying that they were not enough to cover the cost of production. Nobile said:
It seems like a meaningful [price] adjustment, but in reality it does not cover the cost of production. At this time, it doesn’t even cover the cost structure.
Moreover, Nobile highlighted the fact that the production of pasta is further complicated in the country by the fact that the government mandates that 70% of production be allocated to government-regulated products, while the other 30% can include unregulated products.
NGOs: 44 Journalists Attacked by “Irregular Groups” in 2014
The Observatorio de Conflictividad Social and the Instituto Prensa y Sociedad released a joint report today in which they studied attacks against journalists by “armed civilian groups” in Venezuela during the protests of 2014. The study singled out what it calls “pro-government armed civilian groups who act with the support, or tolerance, of public representatives and in conjunction with the public forces of the state”, and recorded that the groups were involved in violating the human rights of at least 44 journalists across 11 states in the country.
The report found that most of the victims were journalists (29), followed by photographers (7), videographers (4), and foreign journalists (2).
The most common type of violation recorded was physical assault (reported in 12 cases), following by intimidation (10), persecution (7), and attacks against tools of the trade (3).
The full report, in Spanish, can be found here.
UNT: “Humanitarian Crisis” Possible
The secretary general of the Un Nuevo Tiempo party, Luis Emilio Rondon, had harsh words for the Maduro government today, blaming mismanagement of the economy and failed policies for the country’s economic crisis. Rondon said:
The government has yet to announce policies to help supply the Venezuelan market to normalize the situation so that people can overcome the most basic issue that is finding food. Until now, the Venezuelan family has fought to solve this problem, searching in different supermarkets, stores, looking to street vendors, but that no longer guarantees access to food. We stand before the gates of a humanitarian crisis.
In the face of this dramatic situation, the Un Nuevo Tiempo party asks for the country’s attention, because we stand before the gates of what could become a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, one we might need to be rescued from by the international community. [We face] a deficit of basic products to meet the needs of the Venezuelan people.
Rondon called for the national government to focus more of its attention on addressing the economic conditions that are contributing to the scarcity crisis.
Lilian Tintori and Mitzy de Ledezma to Attend OAE Meeting
The wives of Venezuela’s two most famous political prisoners – Antonio Ledezma and Leopoldo Lopez – will attend the Summit of the Americas in Panama, scheduled for April 10 and 11. The plan was announced via Twitter by the mayor of El Hatillo, David Smolansky, and no further details were provided.
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