Times are pretty tough for INDEPABIS, our (sort of) Consumer Protection Agency. With the current wave of shortages, they’re way, way overstretched.
Now, a major corruption scandal involving a high-ranking director could make things much worse for its staff. An internal purge could soon follow, as hinted by Commerce Minister Alejandro Fleming.
The head of the agency Consuelo Cerrada was kicked out and Nicolás Maduro has brought back Eduardo Samán to take over.
Who is he? For those who haven’t had the pleasure of knowing him, let me put it this way: if INDEPABIS is our own Vampire Hunting Department, Samán would be the criollo equivalent of Van Helsing, a guy who’s in the outermost fringes of chavista radicalism, who never saw a private company he didn’t want to come down on for … practically anything.
Samán was the head of INDEPABIS between 2008 and 2009. From there, he was promoted to Commerce Minister, but he was dismissed from his post the following year because he was apparently too radical, even for the comandante presidente. His legacy also includes the unveiling of the “Socialist Areperas”, which didn’t end up well…
Recently, he was looking to be Chavismo’s candidate for Metropolitan Mayor of Caracas, but some inside the PSUV didn’t like that idea. Now he’s back on the post that that made him well-known.
He’ll surely double down on surprise inspections, but this time markets and warehouses won’t be enough for him. So Food Minister Félix Osorio has an idea: screw it, let’s check people’s homes, because that’s where the real “domestic hoarding” is happening.