It is called Bolivarian rotation. According to this system, Venezuelans can only buy commodities in state markets on days matching the last digits of their national ID cards. On Monday, for example, the Bicentenário food chain caters to buyers whose IDs end in zero and one, the daily Clarín of Buenos Aires reported.
To make matters worse, the police banned standing in line overnight. The Defensoría del Pueblo [supposedly a kind of Consumer Protection Agency] activated a “plan to help citizens purchase basic necessities.”
In practice, the pompous-sounding plan places armed security guards around supermarkets and stores in order to prevent scenes with rows of empty shelves and people fighting for a spot in line from being posted on the Internet.
Yet, in a schizophrenic demonstration of plenty, President Nicolas Maduro signed a contract with the Emir of Qatar… to sell him foodstuffs!
Maduro has sought to obtain strong investments for the needy Venezuelan economy in the Middle East and Russia, but could not have explored drier sources. The results obviously fell short of expectations.
“We bring technology and capital, produce food for the Venezuelan market, and are building a venue for exports of quality foodstuffs to this region,” the Venezuelan president said during a delirious interview with the official channel Telesur.
According to Vice President Jorge Arreaza, the country’s largely socialized agriculture meets only 40% of demand. The remaining 60% must be imported, and especially from Uncle Sam’s hated “empire.”
The Coromoto Ice Cream Store, the country’s most famous, which made the Guinness Book of Records by offering hundreds of unique flavors, has closed its doors for lack of milk. McDonald’s has stopped selling fries because there are no more potatoes on the market. They have been replaced by fried yucca or “arepa,” a kind of corn bread.
Twenty-first century socialism is fulfilling what it promised, but not in the optimistic way so many believed. Socialism actually promises misery and Venezuelans are having a taste of Cuban misery in the streets and their empty refrigerators.