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Busted! Over 90 Tons of Food, Hoarded, Smuggled, Kept out of Venezuela's Retail Markets This Week Printer friendly page Print This
By Les Blough in Venezuela
Axis of Logic
Friday, Aug 14, 2015

Anyone who has been paying attention to the economic war against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will be familiar with the hoarding, dumping and smuggling of food as part of destabilization efforts by opposition food processing plants, points of sale and foreign entities.

Here in my home state of Aragua, we have been experiencing certain missing products in our retail markets for a week or two, only to reappear in a later week to create long lines of people waiting to buy from the new delivery. That problem has to do with the privately-run distribution system over which the government still hasn’t gained control. When a big shipment of the missing item(s) does arrive at a later date, it is typically off-loaded at a single store in this city of 300,000 people, creating the long lines of buyers who may wait for hours to make their purchase. The store itself often opens only one cashier for the desired product to make the sale of the product even slower. When the missing product does appear, another suddenly disappears. During the past two weeks our local supermarkets suddenly had zero rice or pasta, products that were there in abundance during weeks past. The illegal smuggling and hoarding operations are being busted on a weekly basis if not daily. But imagine the cost and difficulty for the government to search out all the hidden sites in a country of 30 million people across 23 states. However, the fact that the smuggling mafia are resorting to new innovative methods to hoard their stolen products (see second report with photos below) shows that the pressure is on.

These illegal operations for destabilization have a two-fold purpose: (1) To disrupt the lives of the people, create unrest and blame the government for inefficiency and inability to provide food and other essentials for the people. (2) To occupy government time and resources, diverting it from the regular daily work on infrastructure, social and security services that are normally expected from all governments.

We could report on Axis of Logic these discoveries of food held in secret warehouses and kept off the retail markets on a regular basis but the two that follow will serve as examples for the doubters.

On August 13, Noticias 24 reported the confiscation of 14,144 tons of processed whole chicken in the State of Falcon. The government’s Superintendency for the Defense of Socio-Economic Rights (Sundde) coordinated the operation with the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB) and authorities in Falcon State to locate and confiscate the birds. The final destination of the shipment a warehouse located in Puerto Cumarebo on the northwest tip of Venezuela’s Caribbean coast. The massive illegal cargo was detected through Sundde’s contact network.

Arrow points to Puerto Cumarebo, the final destination inside Venezuela for over 14 tons of processed chicken, hoarded and kept off the retail market to be be smuggled out of the country.

The Falcon Coordinator for the Ministry of Fair Prices emphasized Sundde’s importance to the Ministry, "Thanks to the strategic alliance of the institutions and the good use of established complaint channels 14 thousand kilos of chicken were diverted from the hidden site in Falcon bound for purposes unknown."

Two truckloads of whole chickens discovered and guarded by the Bolivarian National Guard.

Ferrer also indicated that the confiscation was preventive practice to safeguard the collective interests of the Falconians, an action that is framed in article 44, paragraph 1 of the Organic Law of Fair Prices (Confiscation of the goods), and at the same time reported that it will be distributed by the entity in compliance with article 44, paragraph 2 (temporary occupation) of the Organization.

Ferrer’s last statement refers to the government’s regular practice of distributing confiscated illegal goods to the people at fair prices established by the government according to the constitution.

This week's other big bust occurred yesterday (Thursday, August 14) in the State of Zulia. One of the government’s crime-fighting bodies, “Operation of Liberation and Protection of the People (OLP) along with the Bolivarian National Guard discovered 50 tons of food buried underground and in basements of various houses in the neighborhood of San Juan, north of the city of Maracaibo which is also located on Venezuela’s northwest coast.  La Iguana TV reported, “With this unusual way of hiding the food for the people, the so-called bachaqueros in this sector, hid sacks of rice, coffee, pasta, beer, soft drinks, detergent, toothpaste, and chlorine, among others.

The Bolivarian National Guard (GNB) uncovers part of 50 tons of food hidden underground, a new method used by organized crime.

This subterranean cache was outdoors beneath tarps and reported to Sundde by their intelligence network.

This is a photo of food hidden in the basement of a house, hauled out by the GNB for distribution to the people in government run stores at fair prices as established by Article 44, paragraph 1 in the constitution, The Organic Law of Fair Prices.

Franklin Duque, Commander of Redi Occidente, explained the operation:
"This successful operation has been achieved as a result of intelligence work carried out by the Liberation of the People operation in Filuos. We intervene these routes that are restocked in Filuos which then divert the products to the north of the Zulia and finally out of the country."

According to the report, the GNB were attacked by the bachaqueros to avoid to the discovery and confiscation of 50 tonnes hidden in packages under the ground. Approximately 11 people were arrested while holding more than 20 identity cards in their possession for the hoarding/smuggling operation.

Biography, Essays and Poetry by Les Blough

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