Sunday, April 6, 2014

Is This Real: Venezuela Government Issues Food Ration Card

Tough times for the South American citizens of Venezuela.  Hit by shortages in toilet paper, foreign currency, and oil production, the Venezuelan government is now expected to issue food rationing cards.  From the Guardian:
The ID card, introduced this week, will limit Venezuelans to once-a-week shopping and will set off an alarm to halt any transaction if a purchaser breaks the rules. The government wants to prevent individual shoppers from "over-buying" in a country hit by acute shortages of basic items including milk, sugar and toilet paper. Critics say it is an admission of failure of economic policy in one of the world's big oil-producing nations. 
"The government needs to control the hoarders. They have made this worse. But if there weren't shortages there wouldn't be hoarders. We are trapped," says Jose Diaz, a 65-year-old construction worker.
The last time the Venezuelan government dealt with hoarding, it seized control of a electronic stores in Caracas and discounted prices to fire sale levels.  So much for being trapped.
According to the food minister, FĂ©lix Osorio, registering for the card will not be mandatory and regular users may still shop at the network of subsidised food chains. But as with many customer loyalty programmes, cardholders will benefit from even lower prices, extra offers and even enter a raffle to win one of 500 houses in Venezuela's largest public housing programme.

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