Venezuela on the skids

Shane Jones and Labour’s inspiration for their supermarket enquiry comes from Venezuela.

Lets face it David Cunliffe receives a bunch of roses at his campaign launch and beams proudly as he declares them the international symbol of socialism, for Venezuelans the new symbol is a daggy bum.

A chronic shortage of toilet paper has forced the Venezualan government to send troops to a factory to make sure stocks are fairly distributed.

The South American country has been beset by a lack of consumer goods due to inflation and tough trading conditions.

It has led President Nicolas Maduro to order a national price regulator to take over loo roll plants in the capital Caracas to verify production processes and distribution, before placing them under the watch of the National Guard.

In a tweet on Thursday, Venezuela’s Vice President, Jorge Arreaza, said authorities would ‘not permit hoarding of essential commodities, or any faults in the production and distribution process’.

‘The action taken at the producer of toilet paper, sanitary napkins and disposable diapers corresponds to the obligation of the state to guarantee the normal supply of primary necessities,’ price regulator Sundecop said in a statement. 

President Maduro has cut dollar supplies for importers since winning election in April, creating shortages of goods including toilet paper and butter and stoking one of the world’s highest inflation rates.

Critics say the nagging shortages of products ranging from bathroom tissue to milk are a sign his socialist government’s rigid price and currency controls are failing.

His predecessor and mentor, Hugo Chavez, nationalized more than 1,000 companies or their assets before dying in March this year.

Annual inflation accelerated to 45.4 percent last month from 42.6 percent in July, while the scarcity index measuring the amount of goods out of stock on store shelves reached 20 percent, the central bank said.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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