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Price controls empty markets in Venezuela

Numerous markets in Venezuela ran out of products this week after inspections by government officials that forced the merchants to reduce their articles by up to 30%, causing heavy losses and the total sale of their stocks in a few hours.

Caracas, Nov 25 (EFE) .- Numerous markets in Venezuela ran out of products this week after inspections by government officials that forced the merchants to cut down 30% your articles, causing heavy losses and the total sale of your stocks in a few hours.

"We were reduced by 15% the prices of everything we sell. in a very short time and today we have almost nothing left, "the owner of a delicatessen in the market of Guaicaipuro, in downtown Caracas, told Efe.

" We had to sell at a loss. lost much real (money), "added the merchant.

The seller, who prefers not to give his name and says several times to be" very afraid ", does not remember controls as hard as this year, and says that many suppliers have stopped taking their articles because it is not profitable to sell at the prices established by the Government.

This new wave of inspections began on 12 November and is part of the crusade of the Chavez government against the "speculators", who are responsible for the situation of scarcity and hyperinflation that crosses the nation Caribbean.

As in the rest of the almost 12,000 establishments that are being inspected, the operation in the Guaicaipuro market was carried out for several days by inspectors. of the Superintendency for the Defense of Socio-economic Rights (SUNDDE), accompanied by officials of the National Guard (GNB, militarized police).

One day after SUNDDE and uniformed officials took over the market, much of the blinds in the stores remained below, and the counters at the meat products stalls had remained gaps awaiting gender.

In addition to confiscating products after accusing the sellers of "hoarding", inspectors and agents of the GNB took some detainees - two according to the SUNDDE, although witnesses speak of a higher number - and punished with fines those who indicated "speculation" or breach of regulations.

Also in Guaicaipuro, the guards Scales were taken from some posts, to ensure that they were adulterated to manipulate the peso in favor of sellers, according to Efe, a market worker who recriminates the military its intimidating and arbitrary attitude.

A small crew of soldiers and policemen was still in the market 24 hours after the inspection, keeping in mind that the few establishments that had received products at a regulated price (chicken and flour) sold at the established amount.

Dozens of people formed long lines at the fearful counters that the precious merchandise will be exhausted.

Since President Nicolás Maduro announced the "Happy Christmas Plan against Speculation", SUNDDE has promptly informed operations throughout the country to limit profit margins and guarantee "the economic revolution" and "the right to social happiness", in the words of the head of the State.

"Immediately what is produced is a disappearance of the product, given that when people are forced to go down at prices below their costs, obviously the activity It stops being profitable, "Luis Hernández, of the National Federation of Cattle Ranchers (Fedenaga), told Efe.

Some supermarkets, markets and even restaurants have stopped receiving beef. and other foods since the inspections ordered by Maduro began to lower prices in the middle of the inflationary spiral in which Venezuela is located, which technically entered the last month in hyperinflation.

One of the objectives of these controls is to ensure that all the links of the food industry chain comply with the so-called "agreed prices", fixed for 50 basic products according to a law recently approved by the State after consulting with the different economic agents involved.

"To avoid another blow to the consumer Finally, we ended up accepting prices for our products that were not the prices that we proposed, "explains Hernández.

" But those prices were agreed six months ago weeks, and in the hyperinflationary period that Venezuela is experiencing, they have become obsolete. "

In the face of the accelerated rise in the heat of the plummeting fall of the bolivar, every day the Prices in Venezuela, the farmers asked to review the amounts fixed each week, but the Government rejected this demand and this re-evaluation will not be carried out until one month after the Fix the initial figure.

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