Venezuela: 11 drugstores raided in anti-hoarding operation

Video of a federal sting operation in Venezuela against some rather unusual, yet typical contraband dealers in the region. They’re not dealing in cocaine, marijuana, or other illegal drugs, but rather in basic necessities sold in pharmacies. They’re mafias of bachaquerosa uniquely Venezuelan brand of organized criminals who divert staple goods from store shelves, hoard them, then sell them (typically on the black market) at inflated prices to create economic chaos in the land. They’re tied to the right-wing opposition, and strangely make exceptions in their pricing for rich right-wing cronies — in short, the very people who can best afford to buy those goods at any price. Meanwhile, ordinary Venezuelans are being forced to either pay grossly inflated prices for these basic goods, or do without.

The idea of the whole shoddy business? To turn ordinary Venezuelans against the Maduro PSUV government, which is incidentally the only party actually dedicated to fighting this corruption and chaos. And while bachaqueo is meant to shore up support for the rabid fascists of the opposition, it ends up having the opposite effect, as this news item (via Aporrea) makes clear:

Last Tuesday, the Superintendency of Just Pricing (SUNDDE) conducted a special operation against establishments of the Farmatodo chain in response to denunciations made by several users, who stated that basic products were being diverted from those stores in the dead of night.

Superintendent William Contreras explained that his office had received denunciations of products being diverted to be distributed to “bachaqueros”.

The operation was conducted during the night at 11 locations of the drugstore chain, since that was the time at which the stores received merchandise from head office.

More than 120 persons participated in the operation, among them SUNDDE inspectors, the Public Ministry, and officers of the Bolivarian National Guard.

Translation mine.

Yes, that’s right…the evil socialist government of Venezuela has a special unit devoted to ensuring that people don’t get ripped off by retailers! And even more shocking, ordinary Venezuelans use that unit, lodging complaints against ripoff artists — and they get satisfactory responses! Whatever will they think of next, down there? At this rate, they won’t even need the US of Amnesia and its federal agencies to invade — oh sorry, “police” — them!

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