No soap for you!!


Watch what happens when a Venezuelan woman tries to buy soap two days in a row. Turns out that, in Venezuela, you can indeed be too clean.

Fancy scanners can’t hide the fact that rationing is rationing, and that it sucks.

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  1. And there are some who have the nerve of saying “Oh, but why would you buy soap two days in a row!?”. I grow more liberal-libertarian each day.

    • Well, not really. If you were a Libertarian then you would concede that the lady has the right to decide when and how frequently she would buy soap bars without need to state any reason for it, or without approval from her government, the cashier, you, or even me,

    • Do you know it’s precisely a “more” liberal (aka borderline Marxist) regime that is driving these outrageous demands for conformity? I hope you meant to say libertarian or conservative… Liberal is not “the light.” It flirts with Marxism, look at Cuba for an example of a Marxist reign. Liberalism puts faith in the government power to make these very decisions over the peoples’ lives. So it sounds like you are in opposition of that. Libertarianism demonstrates opposition to government control over such issues and conservatism frankly despises government oversight at all.

      “The light”….. Is lost on most

      • Weenkie, your world will fall apart now:

        “Classical liberalism is a political philosophy and ideology belonging to liberalism in which primary emphasis is placed on securing the freedom of the individual by limiting the power of the government.”

    • ¿Vamos a comenzar a generalizar? Que bonito, que bello. Obviamente no todas las personas se calan ese tipo de cosas.

      • Creo que Super está citando parte de la respuesta de la Sra.

        Yo no estoy de acuerdo con la reacción, pues ni la empleada ni el super-mercado privado donde está comprando tienen la culpa si el gobierno le impone que hay que vender con límites. No me parece adecuado insultar y gritarle a los empleados.

        Sin embargo… ya he estado en su posición… y entiendo lo difícil que es controlar la ira y frustración cuando esto te pasa en cualquier establecimiento.

        • El gobierno ni siquiera ha cuadrado bien como va a hacerlo en sus propias redes de distribución, y no han surgido reportes de que esto suceda fuera de Kromi Market; lo cual lleva a pensar que los dueños de Kromi Market están actuando por iniciativa propia.

          En ese caso, apoyo que se le forme un peo a los empleados, gerentes y cualquier persona que trabaje allí. No hay razón para hacerles más fácil o más sabroso que implanten el racionamiento de productos.

        • The cashier says it’s not her fault, “it’s the system”, but if it’s a private supermatket, wouldn’t that be a private system as well controlled and set up by them? As far as I know, the government doesn’t set it up.

          • It doesn’t prohibit either. Besides, the real issue is that there is a notorious and well known situation of food and staple shortages in the whole country due to bad economic policies, and with government efforts to ration them at several levels (consumer, distributor, manufacturer). So, yeah, there is no doubt, Maburro’s government and his “revolution” are the culprits.

  2. During the ‘special period’ in Cuba I once gave a museum guide a small package of soap and deodorants I had brought with me as presents for people. She cried. She literally cried. Every time I think of it it brings tears to my eyes too. What we are seeing is the beginning of the process that leads to people weeping over soap. It begins with denial, then anger. Finally, resignation. In the end, a bar of soap looks like a ticket to paradise.

  3. I wonder why the woman have told the truth, that she indeed had bought the damn soup Yesterday. I would have lied and told the woman that I was buying soup for the first time in my life (this kind of cynism was common in ex-Soviet republics).

    • cd be true. If so, suspect there are a number of other officers similarly inclined but who have not yet been snitched on.

      Rocío San Miguel ‏@rociosanmiguel: Llevan 24 hrs detenidos los 3 Generales de la Aviación, en la Dirección de Contrainteligencia Militar sin contacto con un abogado

      SupremaFelicidad ‏@suprema1984: Presuntos Generales conspiradores: José Daniel Machillanda Díaz; Oswaldo Hernández Sánchez y Carlos Alberto Millán Yaguaracuto. En la DIM.

      Otherwise … Esteban Gerbasi ‏@estebangerbasi : No se por qué @NicolasMaduro acusa a pocas personas de estar conspirando para sacarlo sí somos millones lo que estamos en eso

      Or, it could be a ruse, to make the government look strong in front of visiting Unasur members (while also making the gov’t look bad for having conspirators against it, in the first place). As per one observer:
      Héctor J. ‏@hectorj2011 @Towelto: Si hay un golpe en marcha! Q canciller de un pais externo seria tan pendejo como para visitar a otro al q le van a dar un golpe????

  4. A good friend from college lives in Caripe del Guacharo. They have been rationing corn flour for a loooong time there. Only two packs per FAMILY once a week, and you can only buy it at the Consejo Comunal. Just because we are now seeing it in the big cities doesn’t mean it hasn’t been happening for a while.

    • Audrey, do you live in Caracas or thi-thi-thi-Oriente? It would be interesting if you told me thi-thi-thi-Oriente because I assumed it is not only in Caripe but in Cumaná, Barcelona, Curiepe, El Tigre, El Tigrito, Maturín, you name it.

      Because rationing has been present in and around Valencia for several years now, but it changes all the time: sometimes a dozen products, sometimes some others, there are in some places always a limit

      • But it has been a limit per purchase, you could always come back later or the next day and buy some more, provided you wanted to put up with a queu or that the store still had some of the product left.

        This is the first time purchases are being cross-referenced by id number, to apply a limit per customer

        • OK, thanks. I do remember I visited Venezuela in 2006 and I was asked my cédula at a bookshop. I told the girl at the counter I found it sad they needed the cédula and she said “eso siempre ha sido así”.
          Of course, she didn’t have a clue: it was introducing sometime around 2003, if my memory doesn’t fail me.
          I was wondering for what exactly they were using that.
          Obviously, “centralised planning” crap was already under way.
          That woman, like most Venezuelans nowadays under the age of 30 hadn’t done a purchase (other than ice cream or the like) before 1999.

          People should tell others in Venezuela: why do we need to give our IDs when no one in Latin or North America or Europe or even China does?

          • I think it’s different in the case of bookstores and things like that. They usually ask for your cédula for their own bookkeeping and/or your own tax stuff. A friend owns a music store and he uses that info for promotions, e.g. give you a free CD after a few purchases.

            That’s with the bookstore itself. If you pay with a debit card, the banks use your cédula when you swipe your card as a security measure (besides asking you to type your PIN). It’s kind of silly, though, because it takes less than 30 seconds to look up possible cédula numbers from CNE data.

          • Actually, they ask you for the ID number everywhere, even if paying cash.
            And the receipts all say SENIAT no.xxxx

        • Food shortages and rationing has been going strong in the Andean and Zulia states for the last 2 years due to the smuggling through the border and other reasons (such as political gain). As an example, Táhira was hit harder after the 14A elections and so it was Lara. The government used shortages as “pay-back time”, so the “gochos” have been mad at the revolution for a while; the event of 4F that initiated all this cycle of protests, where the female student was beaten and almost raped, was jut the straw that broke the camel’s back.

  5. The icing on the cake?

    That’s not a Mercal or PDVAL or Bicentenario, it’s Kromi Market, a supermarket found at posh areas of Greater Valencia, aimed at a demographic similar to Excelsior Gama in Caracas.

    It has two branches, one in Mañongo, near Sambil Valencia (Naguanagua Municipality), and the other one in Prebo (Valencia Municipality).

    • The regime’s looking to finish the private markets first via price controls and fascist law of prices, so people will be forced to buy at public market networks, then they’ll need the rationing card too.

      • I agree kith that assessment.

        My qualm is that Kromi Market decided to voluntarily launch their own private rationing scheme, ahead of everyone else (including the government).

  6. Do they have a national monitoring network for soap purchases? Is this worse than the NSA? If that woman tried to buy her soap in a different store could she, or would she still get nabbed for making a fascist coup attempt by buying too much soap?

    • El cachaco explained it above, they must show their “cédulas of something” to the cashiers when paying. So, no soap available for that woman anywhere.

      • Cedulas de Identidad, or ID cards. Everyone has one. It is used like a Drivers License is used in the US to identify yourself in everyday situations.

        What sucks is that checking a database to see what you have bought that month has become an everyday situation

    • Foreign tourists will have to give some kind of number most times. I have known some who just make up a cedula on the spot…….

      • Interesting, Thanks Roberto N

        I am sure there will be those who obtain 3 or 4 Cedulas just in case as well.Another way to become corrupt.

        • Maybe tourists won’t need that, as they won’t remain in Venezuela for that much time to need to buy twice those products.

          • Ralph,

            I wasn’t thinking about tourists needing anything, I was speculating on how people will be using ways to get around the rationing.

            And when I mentioned the 3 or 4 Cedulas, I am sure people who have contacts will obtain them….

            There will be multi -layers of crime and corruption concerning this I am sure.

    • Chamo,

      La economía se va deteriorando cada vez más y con ella el apoyo al madurismo.

      El caudillo Chávez está súper muerto. Respecto a los milicos: esos son los que manejan el poder desde hace dos siglos en Venezuela.
      Millán ya tenía problemas en 2009
      y antes por abuso de poder, etc y el caudillo, que Marx lo tenga consigo, lo convirtió en general.
      Otro de los tipos era Machillanda Díaz, que al parecer estaba en uno de los negocios más interesantes de los militares:
      Esos tienen más que ver con los Diosdado de este mundo que con nosotros.

        • Lo cómico y patético es que sigan acusándonos de golpistas cuando el mismo TSJ dictaminó que NO hubo golpe de estado en abril de 2002, lo que hizo que el muñeco de cera montara un berrinche en cadena y rebuznara que “habían puesto la PLASTA”.
          Jajaja, todavía me acuerdo, parecía que se le iba a reventar la verruga de la rabieta que tenía ese día xD.
          Ese troll dice que Venezuela ha progresado, claro, ahora la gente no tiene derecho a comprar ni un piche jabón, pero Venezuela “ha progresado”.

      • Interesting, to speak in God’s tongue to a PSF. Like saying to him “You don’t know diddly.” Which in this case would appear to be the case, such as in last week’s exchange on infant mortality.
        Jeff: Youse guys are focusing on hard economic figures to put down Chavismo, but are neglecting the great things Chavismo has done regarding infant mortality, education,,,,[murder rate?]. [paraphrased comment]

        Commenter choir: Actually, Chavismo’s record with regard to infant mortality are mediocre..unexecptional..nothing to write home about…not better than Fourth Republic. Documented.

        Jeff: So any decent improvement in quality of life during Chavez is irrelevant now?

        What commenters such as myself neglected to bring up, because it seemed so obvious to us, is that the Chavista Chant for the last fifteen years has been: “Things were SO BAD under the Fourth Republic, and now things are SO MUCH BETTER under Chavismo.” [Yes, that is what $23 billion oil export revenue in 1998 compared to $120 billion per year these days will do ] Conclusion: with regard to infant mortality, the Chavista Chant is repudiated, as progress in reducing infant mortality under Chavismo was about the same or slightly worse than during a comparable period for the Fourth Republic.

        I doubt that commenter Jeff was very much aware of the historical background alluded to in the previous paragraph. Which I see as an implicit message in addressing him in God’s Tongue. Or should I say Godgiven’s tongue? [Diosdado Cabello]

        • You are right there is a special reason why I chose to address him in Spanish.

          El tipejo no tiene ni la más puta idea.

          Virtually everything not extremely negative that we see today in Venezuela is there not because but in spite of Chavismo. That includes the amount of poor with more cash in their pockets than when the price of oil was 1/8 of what it is today. And, as you mentioned elsewhere, progress has often been greater in other countries in the region that didn’t have oil.

          • Venezuela’s reduction of poverty is greater than any country in Latin America. I guess that happened magically. Chavez supported the poor, and the poor in turn voted for him. Simple

          • Jeff:

            Venezuela’s reduction of poverty is greater than any country in Latin America.

            Certainly some of the vast increase in oil export revenue since 1998 trickled down to the poor- and not into the bank accounts of the bolibourgueses- but how much is anyone’s guess. The poverty reduction figures come from the GOV, a.k.a.Government of Venezuela. How much can you trust the poverty reduction statistics from the GOV?
            My call on that would be that you can trust the GOV statistics for poverty reduction as much as you can trust the murder statistics coming from the GOV. There is a problem here- the GOV no longer reports murder statistics to the UN. If the statistics of the GOV are both readily accessible and accurate, then you should be able to readily find GOV statistics on GNP/GDP in constant Bs. I used to be able to find data on GNP/GDP in constant Bs from the BCV [Central Bank] website, but in the last year or so,I haven’t been able to find them. The lack of transparent, accessible data from the GOV on a number of data points tends to make me skeptical about the precision of their poverty reduction statistics. [BTW, you might research housing construction under Chavismo. It ain’t what you think it is.]
            Given all the oil revenues that Chavismo has had to play with, some of that certainly was used to reduce poverty. But how much money actually reached the poor, and how much poverty was actually reduced, are figures that are very debatable.
            Another reason for skepticism about the poverty reduction figures is that Venezuela’s per capita economic growth from 199-2012 is low compared to the rest of Latin America: 11th out of 17th. First in poverty reduction but only 11th out of 17 in per capita economic growth. As one of my bosses used to say, this doesn’t pass the sniff test.You have seen this link before.Perhaps you should read the material at the link.

            I guess that [poverty reduction] happened magically.

            Not by magic, but with the help of over a trillion dollars of oil dosh. Certainly some of that dosh reached the poor. How much is another question. See the above comments.

            Chavez supported the poor, and the poor in turn voted for him. Simple.

            No, it’s not that simple. For example, Petare, a big Caracas area barrio slum, voted oppo in the 2007 Constitutional Referendum, and has tended to vote oppo since then. Chavismo used gerrymandering– Hugomandering- against Petare for the 2010 legislative elections because it knew that Petare had turned oppo.

            Rural areas are bigger winners for Chavismo than urban slums.

            Gasoline is dirt cheap in Venezuela.

            In 1998, right before Chávez came to power a tank of 80 liters of gasoline, or about 21 gallons, cost about 13.5 US$ in Bolivars. Chávez decided to freeze the price of gas to preserve his popularity. By now, that same tank of gas costs 11 cents of a US$. (NOT A TYPO)

            How does selling a tank of gasoline so cheaply help the poor? It helps the better off, who can afford motor vehicles. If Chavismo wanted to REALLY help the poor with regards to gasoline price, it would charge a market price- or at least cost of production- for gasoline and subsidize gasoline for public transit- buses and maybe colectivo taxis- not for the better off who own motor vehicles.

            You need to come up to speed on Venezuela. I suggest you take a weekend to survey the 3 main English language sites on Venezuela- Caracas Chronicles , Daniel’s Venezuela News and Views, and Miguel Octavio’s The Devil’s Excrement.

    • Jeff, I previously suggested that you get up to speed on Venezuela by spending a weekend reading the three main English language blogs on Venezuela. A good place to start is the Beginner’s Guide at the top of the Caracas Chronicles page. Within the Beginner’s Guide, I recommend The Petrostate that was and the petrostate that is, which gives a good historical perspective on the distribution of oil dosh. Distribution of oil monies to the people is not something that began with Chávez.

      • I read the article. I disagree on what it says about Chavez. The author makes it seem that Chavez was simply doing a political stunt and making a cult of personality for his own personal gain or something. I don’t think someone who is considered with personal gain would actually help the poor.

        In America, we have many politicans on both sides who are wealthy and powerful. And they dont give a crap about the working people.

        Chavez was different.

      • Jeff:

        The author makes it seem that Chavez was simply doing a political stunt and making a cult of personality for his own personal gain or something.

        If by “personal gain,” you mean increasing one’s own political power, the charge is correct. Chavismo has concentrated power at the top.The judiciary is no longer independent.The legislature is not independent- witness successive booting out of various oppo legislative members- not to mention oppo Assembly members being beaten up while in chambers.The media is much less diverse and independent than it used to be, which as Pravda would have once said, is no accident. The Tascón list was used to punish those who had signed petitions in support of the 2004 Recall Referendum. On the subject of the Recall Referendum, I suggest you consult Devil’s Excrement: 2004 Recall Referendum Models. Did Hugo Chávez try to increase his personal power? Hell, yes. Read the above sentences. Anyone who claims otherwise is either a hopeless ignoramus or a blatant liar.

        If by “personal gain,” you mean personal wealth, it would appear that many in Chávez’s inner circle have used their positions to increase their personal wealth- with minimal effort from Chávez to stop this corruption. Whether or not Hugo Chávez was personally corrupt, many in the upper layers of Chavismo have illicitly enriched themselves, with minimal effort to stop that corruption from Chávez or Maduro. I suggest you go to search engines using the following words: “Chavez family land Barinas.” Here are some excerpts from Guardian reporter Rory Carroll’s master work on Chávez’s inner circle who exploited their position for “personal gain”: Comandante: Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela.

        When challenged about corruption at his rare press conferences, Giordani would redden and fire a caustic non-reply to the question. But the Monk was not blind. As leader of the utopians, he had wide contacts and knew what was happening. In a fleeting passage of a little-noticed book he published in 2009, he vented despair. “The boligarchy is nothing more than the singular or collective grouping of those who throughout this process have devoted themselves to amassing immense fortunes in the name of the revolution . . . Many of them flaunt wealth that they did not have before the arrival of the government in December 1998. These people are professional thieves . . . who have disguised themselves (with red shirts) to take advantage of the honey pot of power for their own personal benefit. These people should be denounced, separated from the socialist process led by President Chávez . . . and tried as common criminals.”

        It was a poignant plea. And utterly hypocritical. Giordani had not only created the economic distortions that facilitated the looting; he relied on the worst looters. To spin his web, he needed the Finance Ministry, Central Bank, and PDVSA. Venezuela slid toward the bottom of the honesty scale measured by Transparency International, an anticorruption watchdog. Successive finance ministers were accused of pocketing immense fortunes. The Central Bank governor was accused of selling insider information and ransacking the reserves. PDVSA was accused of wholesale kleptocracy. The austere, honest Monk twinkled little bells of complaint but did not lead a crusade against corruption, did not resign, did not redesign his policies. That would have imperiled his authority and elaborate utopian constructs. That would have admitted error…

        The comandante had swept to power declaring war on corruption and maintained his authority through verbal torrents, but when it came to corruption in his own government, he sought refuge in silence. He sealed not just his own lips but those of people who knew too much and threatened to blab. Most boligarchs willingly remained mute since they had no desire to incriminate themselves. However, some, perhaps a dozen, through bad luck or hubris, were deemed risks and thus banished to the basement cells of DISIP’s headquarters, a hulking, concrete hilltop ziggurat known as El Helicoide. They were not tortured, merely left to rot in the soundproof fortress. No journalist could slip in here. Their trials were continuously delayed, or held in camera, so they had no public forum…..

        Amid the collective hush, the feigned dumbness of those who saw the corruption but held their tongue, a lone voice shouted. “All we have done is substitute elites,” it raged. “We didn’t transform the state, because it was a gold mine. And he who finds the mine doesn’t share.” Luis Tascón, the National Assembly member who had given his name to the notorious blacklist, now emerged as the revolution’s conscience. “We have been transformed by the state. It is a devouring monster . . . Our top people were born in the barrio, got out, and didn’t go back. And the barrio continues being the same.” In a series of interviews to a journalist, Ramón Hernández, made into a book, he made a plaintive plea to the comandante. “I know that inside Chávez rejects corruption. But in power he has made no frontal assault on it. I don’t know if he is trying to use corruption as the invisible grease to work the state machinery, thinking he can avoid getting dirty, but it soils everyone.”

        A recent example of corruption was the ton+ of cocaine intercepted at the Paris airport. There was a lot of “personal gain” involved in letting a plane take off with over a ton of cocaine. The plane could not have taken off with a ton of cocaine without the consent of higher-ups. Some lowly tienente didn’t pull this off.

        I don’t think someone who is considered with personal gain would actually help the poor.

        Chávez certainly had a rapport with the poor, as shown by his performances on Alo Presidente. He was much better at aggandizing his power than he was in being an effective executiive. The Misiones have been better for PR than they have actually helped people.

        In America, we have many politicans on both sides who are wealthy and powerful. And they dont give a crap about the working people.Chavez was different

        The US has never had demagogues who bash the rich and love the poor? Apparently you have never heard of Huey Long, a populist autocratic demagogue who bears some resemblance to Chávez. Others come to mind.

        If Chávez cared that much about the poor,if he cared so much about working people, about poor people, then why did he freeze the price of gasoline, a gimme for the better off who could own motor vehicles, not for the the poor who didn’t own their own motor vehicles?

      • I read the article. I disagree on what it says about Chavez. The author makes it seem that Chavez was simply doing a political stunt and making a cult of personality for his own personal gain or something.

        Are you telling me that there is NOT a cult of personality surrounding Hugo Chávez?
        If so, LOL:

  7. It’s incredible how this regime has managed to achieve what was almost impossible: To make people miss the 4th republic.
    Damn, the country was getting screwed HARD in those years, but chavism has shown us that it could be even worse!

  8. the violent reaction against the poor cashier is uncalled for, this sort of behavior does no favors to those who oppose chabe’s legacy.

    • Oh yes it is, too many people think that they get away with tactic and passive support.If I don’t agree with the philosophy of a business, then it my obligation not to work there or suffer the consequences.

  9. I know we need to stay focused but… isn’t anyone concerned by the fact that a company is keeping track of our purchases without our permission. This must be illegal !!

    • Oh dear, this must be illegal! Did you just wake up from your cryogenic freeze? You are in for big surprise after you read the news of the last 10 years!

      • hahahahhaha! “This must be illegal!” Jesus Christ! I can’t stop laughing!!!
        Yes, “this must be illegal!!!” haaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahahahha!


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