Venezuela Bans Lines Outside of Bakeries that Spread “Anxiety”
The Venezuelan government has announced it will be fining bakeries that make people stand in lines to buy bread. The National Superintendency of Fair Prices noted this measure is intended to “dismantle the strategy of generating anxiety” in Venezuelans, as the lines are more of a political decision than they are a reflection of a lack of raw materials.
A spokesperson said they are evaluating various cost structures to make a price adjustment, though it did not specify which products will see their prices changed.
The decision was reportedly made after inspecting at least 1,900 bakeries across the country.
Shortages of food and medicine have recently reached 80 percent, according to estimates by the firm Datanalisis. Venezuelans must stand in endless line to obtain ever-scarce resources.
However, President of the National Federation of Flour Juan Crespo said in an interview “there is not enough raw material to produce bread.”
“The government must understand bakeries are not wheat-processing plants and that the problem is production,” Crespo said.
“To supply the market, we need 120,000 tons of regular baker wheat, without even mentioning cookie wheat and hard wheat,” he added.
Nicolás Maduro has accused the private sector of promoting an “economic war” to destabilize his government and sabotage production.
The business community denies these accusations and called on the government to provide greater access to foreign exchange amid tight exchange controls in force since 2003.