On a TV broadcast yesterday,
February 1 2015, President Maduro announced that various directors of the
Farmatodo chain of pharmacies had been “caught red-handed” and were now being
held in custody at the headquarters of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Services
(SEBIN) They have been placed in the hands of the Attorney General’s office to
be charged and await trial.
It had long been suspected that
the apparent goodwill of Farmatodo was hypocritical and that basic products
were being hoarded to create huge lines and irritate the common people waiting
for hours. One Farmatodo store in Falcón state was looted when the public
standing in line for hours discovered the diapers they were standing in line to
buy for their toddlers were hidden in the warehouse at the back of the store.
The directors held by the SEBIN
have stated that their workers were responsible for hoarding and hiding
products – not them. President Maduro dismissed this “defense” out of hand
labeling these miscreants as “cowards and parasites”, typical of Venezuela’s
oligarch class as Farmatodo was the spearhead of the economic conspiracy
against the Venezuelan people.
For months it has been extremely
difficult to find cell phones at non-speculative prices in Venezuela. One of
the reasons is that the authorized agents are hiding the phones and offering
them “under the counter” at four or five times the recommended retail price to
desperate customers, or offering them on Facebook at exorbitant prices.
An authorized agent of one of the
cell phone networks, Movilnet, was caught hoarding 330 cell phones and not
offering them to the public. The agent in question is called Inversiones
Guaritel and located in the shopping mall C.C. Chacaito in east Caracas.
|Part of the haul of hidden cell phones.|
The Superintendant of Fair Prices,
acting with the National Guard and using information from disillusioned
customers, found the haul and arrested the perpetrators for hoarding. The cell
phones will be sold at regulated list prices and the greedy agents involved in
this scam will no doubt spend some time behind bars.
Besides building up the pressure
on the distribution network and speculators, the Venezuelan government has
initiated a series of street markets up and down the country where all basic
products are on offer at solidarity prices.
Last weekend, 524 street markets
were organized by the Food Mission and the corresponding ministry and this
weekend the number increased to 720.
|Big lines but plenty for everybody.|
According to the Ministry of Food,
more than 591,000 tons of basic foodstuffs were sold to the public obviating
the need for “real lines” and leaving that “job” to resellers desperate to make
a “quick bolivar”.
Hopefully the biometric
fingerprinting will be introduced soon in all major cities to stop the
excessive buying and reselling of basic products which has become a “new
business opportunity” at the expanse of state food subsidies for many poorer
Axis readers should realize that
Venezuela is fighting an economic and media war on several fronts. The media
war has been ongoing for almost 15 years but has recently increased in its
First of all, the President of the
National Assembly (Congress), Diosdado Cabello, was accused in international
and domestic media of being involved in a drug trafficking cartel. No evidence
was given and the habitual innuendo train by the media ensued. The information
of Cabello’s alleged involvement came from his ex-body guard, now in the pay of
the DEA and/or CIA to discredit Cabello.
Cabello has announced legal
actions against the Spanish newspaper ABC and local Venezuelan media El
Nacional, Tal Cual, and the web page La Patilla. Cabello is using legal weapons
against these manipulators and inventors of the “truth” and such action could
bankrupt the Venezuelan media involved.
The late President Chávez’s elder
brother and Governor of Barinas state, Adán Chávez, has announced legal action
against the fired OAS ambassador of Panama, Willy Cochez, for stating that
President Chávez died on December 30, 2012 in Cuba and not on March 5 ,2013
in the Military Hospital in Caracas as is officially recognized.
This rumor mongering is also part
of the covert war against Venezuela as such rumors could discredit the
government and Chávez’s own family as somehow being complicit in covering up