A group of university students attempted to march to the Vicepresidency building in Caracas, but were stopped by authorities from the National Guard and the National Bolivarian police. The students were hoping to present a document to officials outlining their grievances over the issues affecting the quality of their education.

Below, some pictures from the scene:

The students were prevented from reaching the building’s main doors. The head of the Federacion de Centros Universitarios [Federation of Universities] from the Universidad Central de Venezuela, Hasler Iglesia, said that the students would continue to try to have their opinions heard through peaceful means.

Faria: “I’m Not Looking at Any More Polls”

Minister of Communication and PSUV National Assembly candidate Jacqueline Faria said in an interview today that an opposition-led National Assembly would “reject all” government policies, and that she was not interested in what polls have to say leading up the the elections:

The battle over the polls is coming, and that’s why from now on I’m not looking at any more polls.

During the interview, Faria was asked to explain what she meant when she said in October that multi-hour long lines at supermarket “should be enjoyed”. Faria said that her words were taken out of context, and that what she really meant to say was that she did not want people to line up at big supermarket chains when they could instead go to open-air markets like the one she was speaking at that day.

CONSECOMERCIO: “Fair Price” Adjustments Not Working

The head of the Consejo Nacional del Comercio y los Servicios [National Council of Commerce and Services] (CONSECOMERCIO), Cipriana Ramos, said that a recent government measure to slash prices at retailers around the county has been largely unsuccessful.

Ramos said that while the measure could have the effect of exhausting stocks, Venezuelans do not appear to be taking advtange of the 10-50% in savings so far. Ramos explained:

Where there were sales no one was buying anything, because there’s no money and these aren’t the things that people need.

Starting last week, the government began to mandate price reductions at retailers in some malls.

Cost of School Supplies Up 356% in 1 Year

The Centro de Documentacion y Analisis para los Trabajadores [Centre for Worker’s Documentation and Analysis] (CENDA) announced today that the average price for school uniforms and other supplies has increased by an average of 356% in just one year.

According to the group’s report, a preschooler needs Bs. 44,557.91 to be properly outfitted for school. The price to outfit a primary school student jumped by 406.4% to a total of Bs. 59,953.30. High school students are hardest hit in nominal terms by the increase in prices, needing approximately Bs. 71,498.47 to purchase all they need to be prepared for school.

The same study found that the price for colouring pencils went up 1,137% over the last year, while books of various types saw an increase of anywhere between 300%-1,000%.

Torrealba: Gov’t To Take More Measures Leading Up to Election

Jesus Torrealba, the head of the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica, said that an increasingly desperate national government would take more measures just before the December 6 parliamentary elections to at least create the illusion that the country’s situation is improving. Torrealba said that one such measures will involve ordering dramatic slashes to prices for food and consumer goods just six days before the election.

Torrealba reminded listeners that two years ago, shortly before municipal elections were scheduled to take place, Maduro called on supporters to “empty the shelves” at Daka, a popular electronics store. Maduro’s comments resulted in a looting spree known as the Dakazo that affected inventories for months afterwards.

Torrealba called on Venezuelans to remain vigilant for such tactics, saying:

As a result, nothing remained on the shelves that month nor the year after. The whole country knows what Dakazos mean, whether they involve electronics or food.

Torrealba also said that the MUD would focus observer attention on electoral districts which have historically reported the most discrepancies.

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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