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Venezuelans are debating today what to make of Black Friday, the shopping holiday made ubiquitous in the United States, which was for the first time observed in some shopping malls of the country yesterday.

Throughout the day yesterday, Twitter users uploaded images of lines of shoppers at malls hoping to take advantage of sale prices. Below, some of these images:

According to Reuters, the reason for this modest first edition of Black Friday in Venezuela has to do with the fact that, so far in 2019, the Maduro regime has relaxed its grip on private commerce. Just a few weeks ago, Maduro admitted that dolarization was taking hold in Venezuela, and said that he saw “nothing wrong” with that.

In contrast, Maduro said last year that dolarization was “anti-constitutional”, and suggested that any attempt to allow Venezuelans to us US dollars instead of the Bolivar was a measure meant to destroy the country’s currency.

Elizabeth Diaz works at a bank, and she told Reuters that she drove 35 kilometers to go to a shopping mall in Caracas after she heard that stores there were having 70% off sales. Diaz said:

There have to be sales, because you can’t buy anything at [regular] prices.

 


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