Control The Masses: Venezuela Introduces Cuba-like Food Card
Presented by President Hugo Chávez as an instrument to make shopping for groceries easier, the ``Good Life Card'' is making various segments of the population wary because they see it as a furtive attempt to introduce a rationing card similar to the one in Cuba. The measure could easily become a mechanism to control the population, according to civil society groups. ``We see that in short-term this could become a rationing card probably similar to the one used in Cuba,'' Roberto León Parilli, president of the National Association of Users and Consumers, told El Nuevo Herald. ``It would use more advanced technological means [than those used in Cuba], but when they tell you where to buy and what the limits of what you can buy are, they are conditioning your purchases.'' Chávez said Tuesday that the card could be used to buy groceries at the government chain of markets and supplies. ``I have called it a Good Life Card so far,'' Chávez said in a brief statement made on the government television channel. ``It's a card for you to purchase what you are going to take and they keep deducting. It's to buy what you need, not to promote communism, but to buy what just what you need.'' Former director of Venezuela's Central Bank, Domingo Maza Zavala, said this could become a rationing card that would limit your purchases in light of the country's recurring problems with supplies. ``If the intention is to beat inflation, they should find a good source of supply for the entire market and not only for centers that are part of social chains,'' he said. ``To do that, you need to encourage local production with the help of the private sector, since they cannot do it by themselves. The government cannot become the ultimate food distributor.'' More Here.