“No bread until further notice.”
A sign out of Les Misérables? Not quite. This was in Caracas, Venezuela…where a government minister and his hard-working team of inspectors are now cracking down on bakeries displaying similar signs while hoarding and hiding precious materials from the public, and artificially holding down the supply of basic staples like bread. Story, via Aporrea:
William Contreras, National Superintendent for the Defence of Socio-Economic Rights (SUNDDE), announced last Friday that during the previous 48 hours, 171 bakeries throughout Venezuela had been sanctioned for boycotting, hoarding, unsanitary conditions, restriction of wares, and conditionality of sale.
He made the announcement from the “Gran Majestic II” bakery, located in the La Campiña sector of Caracas, which was one of 848 locations inspected by SUNDDE’s legal authorities throughout the land. “Fines totalling 15.6 million bolivars were applied.”
Contreras emphasized that the objective of the operation is to guarantee the Venezuelan people opportune access and fair pricing, by way of inspection, auditing, and attention to the distribution of wheat flour, baking, and sales of bread.
“There are no reasons for the owners of bakeries to apply these mechanisms of restriction of offerings when the Venezuelan state, via the popular ministry for food, has guaranteed basic raw materials such as wheat flour. In addition, we have sat down with them to converse and attend to their problems.”
During the inspection of the Gran Majestic II bakery, inspectors observed that the bakery restricted the availability of bread, via electronic cards handed out to sell the product, without providing a sufficient quantity of the same for the demand of the clients, who stood in long lines, showing an understandable collective resentment.
The Public Ministry was asked to detain citizen Antonio Maizo de Sousa for the illegal activities observed in the establishment, such as unsanitary conditions (in violation of Article 48 of the Organic Law of Fair Pricing), speculation (Article 49), boycotting (Article 53), conditionality of sale (Article 56), and restriction of offerings (Article 7, Paragraph 3).
Recently, 27,000 tons of wheat flour from Canada arrived in Venezuela, aimed at bread production. For this reason, Contreras explained, inspections of bakeries and distribution outlets would continue.
“We are also auditing those business which distribute this item to bakeries, as we have received denunciations of conditional sales and restriction of sales.”
Contreras exhorted the Venezuelan public to exercise their rights and denounce any irregularities at 0-800-LO-JUSTO (0800-565-8786), and the Twitter account @Sundde_ve.
Here’s a video in which we can see that the bakery mentioned above is very much an offender:
They were hiding and hoarding at least 100 sacks of wheat flour, along with an undisclosed amount of sugar and butter, while claiming there was “no bread until further notice”. Stinks of bachaqueo, no?
What do you bet that the owner of the business has ties to the opposition? This kind of tactic has their pugmarks all over it. And it’s just one of the many ways they’re trying to foment unrest and dissatisfaction with the Maduro administration throughout the land. But, as we can see, the government is fighting back, and exposing a lot of scurrying cockroaches in the process.