National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello said yesterday during an event in Carabobo state that Venezuelans are not upset over the multi-hour lines they have to endure when they go grocery shopping, and that as a result voters would not abandon the PSUV. Cabello said:
They [the opposition] think that people are angry about lining up, and that they’ll stop voting for chavismo.
Cabello also appeared to take a more threatening tone when he called for supporters to “defend the revolution” in the aftermath of the election, saying:
We have to prepare to defend the Bolivarian revolution because they [the opposition] have said that they won’t respect the election results.
Last week, Maduro suggested that the two sides sign an agreement to respect the results of the elections. The opposition has refused to sign the agreement, pointing out that Maduro’s word “means nothing“, and that instead the national government should ensure that the elections are carried out in a free and fair manner.
Poll: 87.9% Angry Over Lines
A poll conducted by Venebarometro between September 5 and 15 found that 90.4% of respondents are forced to wait in lines whenever they got grocery shopping. Out of that number, 87.9% said they are angry over the lines, while 85.9% considered them “outrageous”.
The same poll found that 79.3% of Venezuelans view the country’s current situation negatively.
Shopper: “We Are Tried of Waiting in Lines’
El Nacional published an article today in which it interviewed shoppers in Caracas on their experiences with the lines that have become one of the most visible signs of the country’s scarcity crisis.
The article chronicles a trip to a supermarket by Carmen Rojas, a citizen of Petare, on Thursday morning. Rojas left her house on Thursday at 2:00 AM hoping to beat the lines at the Abasto Bicentenario in Palo Verde. However, by noon, Rojas was still lined up outside the supermarket. She told the newspaper:
‘Why don’t I just go home?’ Because they’re selling chicken, and I don’t have any anymore. The ones they sell on the street are really expensive, and you have to stretch your money. If it wasn’t for that I’d be in my house, instead of being here fighting with the security guards under the hot sun.
The shoppers El Nacional spoke to were unaware of the government’s latest attempt to tackle the scarcity crisis: the “bodegas patriotas”, an initiative that will see Makro (a supermarket chain) directly supply smaller establishments around the city. At a line outside the Bicentenario in Macaracuay, a shopper told the newspaper:
We’re tired of waiting in lines, and more than likely those bodegas patriotas won’t solve anything.
Tomas Socias, the ex-president of the Camara Venezolana de la Industria de Alimentos [Venezuelan Chamber of Food Industries] said that the recent distribution deal with Makro is a sign of desperation from the government:
The [national government] is worried about the inconveniences that the shortages cause, specially in the poorer areas, and more so now that the parliamentary elections are close. That’s why they’re looking for alternatives everywhere.
Gate Collapse Leaves 10 Shoppers Injured in Anzoategui
An iron gate collapsed outside a Makro supermarket line in Anaco, Anzoategui state left at least 10 people injured earlier today.
The mayor of Anaco, Marcos Ramos, confirmed the event alongside National Assembly candidate Marco Aurelio Quiñones, who gave details about the event:
This event happened as a result of the immense lines that form around the Makro in Anaco, the main [supermarket] in the area. The vast majority of people – which totaled about 300 – forced an iron gate to collapse, which then fell on people about a meter and a half below.
According to Noticiero Digital, the crowd became agitated and began to push towards the main doors once the store opened to let the workers inside.
Maduro Travels to Bolivia For Climate Change Summit
Maduro is in Bolivia today to take part in the closing ceremonies for the second annual World’s People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Defense of Life. The event was attended by social and climate organizations from more than 50 countries.
Shortly before leaving for Bolivia, Maduro spoke in Plaza Venezuela to do some campaigning, referencing the agreement he proposed the two sides sign, saying:
The opposition have entered a crazy phase. There’s no one rational on that side, and we’re sorry about that (…) Why is it important that we sign that agreement? Because it’s a meeting point for peace, but they don’t want peace.
Capriles: “Lots of Dollars” for Maduro’s Trips
Miranda state governor Henrique Capriles took to Twitter today to criticize Maduro over his frequent travels, saying:
Mr. Nicolas goes from summit to summit. There’s lots of dollars for that. They waste them, but there’s no [money] for medicine, and it’s scarce!
Capriles also pointed out that Maduro has been to Cochabamba, Boliva more times than he has been to San Cristobal, Tachira state.
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