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.
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.
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 Venezuelans.
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 intensity.
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 Chávez’s passing.