Due to forced price cuts in supermarkets:

Chaos in Venezuela

When the administration of President Nicolas Maduro ordered more than 200 supermarkets to restore their prices to last month’s levels , news of the discounts spread like wildfire, leading crowds to mass in front of stores. Hundreds of people gathered outside several Caracas supermarkets over the weekend after the government ordered shops to slash prices.

According to a santiagotimes.cl article, critics say Maduro is playing with fire in the oil-rich nation, where millions do not eat three square meals a day and malnutrition is on the rise. They claim this policy will dissuade supermarkets from stocking their shelves and could trigger looting.

Maduro who was narrowly elected to replace Hugo Chavez in 2013, claims he is a victim of a U.S.-led “economic war” in which businesses hoard food and stoke prices to destabilize his government.

The Venezuelan government is planning to issue the cryptocurrency Petro, that would have the same value as a barrel of oil (US$ 59), said President Maduro. One hundred million units of this cryptocurrency will be issued by the Venezuelan government, in a continued attempt to sidestep U.S. economic sanctions.

Furthermore, Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami has announced that President Maduro has extended the suspension of air and sea traffic as well as trade with the Caribbean countries of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao, in what it calls its ‘continued fight against smuggling’.

The premier of Aruba, Evelyn Wever-Croes, said she is ‘worried’ by the decision.

El Aissami added that strategies should be put in place to combat “the mafias that steal our assets and smuggle with impunity strategic materials, which severely affect the services and quality of life” of the Venezuelan people.

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