Surprise! They helped people loot, now there's no food

Last week, the government forced supermarkets to sell out their stocks at huge discounts. Now those shelves are empty and you can forget about restocks.

Photo: @Twiterfran

Less than a week ago, the Maduro government ordered over 200 supermarkets to lower the prices of a bunch of products. The announcement was followed by massive shopping sprees – which the twittersphere labelled “controlled looting” – and left most shelves empty.

Now, just like everyone predicted, those supermarkets won’t restock their shelves any time soon. This is not a malcriadez of supermarket owners; no one can expect them to sell for 1 bolívar something that costs 10.

Photo: @RobertoDeniz, retrieved

“What you see on the shelves is what you get” said the manager of a sieged supermarket. “The warehouses are empty and we don’t know when new products will arrive. It’ll be very hard to replenish inventories.”

“The fiscales treated us well, but their decisions were very aggressive,” added another manager. “They ordered price reductions that provoked significant losses. They didn’t stop to check the marked prices, they only gave orders”.

Photo: @CarmenAndreaRG, retrieved

Blaming supermarkets for high prices is like blaming the doctor for the 103 degree fever in his thermometer. Bonkers. The doctor is not to blame and breaking the thermometer won’t change a thing: the economy is suffering from a bad case of hyperinflation and the government, through its impossibly bad fiscal and monetary management, is responsible.

What worries Venezuelans the most is that, unlike the Dakazo and Epkazo, an empty shelf means that some families won’t have food on their tables. Not every family can afford a well-stocked pantry and most rely on their daily income to buy supper.

Photo: @CarmenAndreaRG, retrieved

I’m still not sure what the government’s next move will be, but many shelves won’t get restocked. It’s obvious and chavismo knows it…