At times chavismo manages to combine in one single item all what we need to establish its stupidity, ignorance, arrogance and intolerance. The announcement of the brand new minister, price control inquisitor extraordinaire, Eduardo Saman, to look into the arepa price is such an instance.
For those late in this game the arepa is the unique, and glorious, contribution of Venezuela to world gastronomy, our own way to make a very special type of corn bread that is stuffed with only your creativity as the limit (I have my own recipe of yellow corn arepa with sauteed mushroom which is out of this world).
Well, Mr. Saman, on his way to "inspect" (harass is a much better word) a corn flour plant of Polar stopped to eat an arepa de pernil and he was scandalized by its cost. Well, obliviously it has been a long time he has not had to pay for his own food because the reported price is one yours truly has been paying since early last year, and for the cheaper cheese arepas as I am near veggan.
Well, Inquisitor Saman, this why I think that you are:
Carlos Andres Perez in the mid 70ies decided to regulate the price of arepas served to public. Within a couple of years 95% areperas had stopped serving arepas (areperas, where arepas are made and served). I remember that as a college student then I could not eat arepas when I was coming back home on holidays (at home my parents did not cook the stuff, we only ate them outside of home). Even after the regulation was lifted it took half a decade to again see areperas regularly in the landscape of food offering. Only in the 90ies were finally areperas as wide spread as desirable, and their quality reaching again pre regualtion days. The only folks who benefited from that were US fast food joints never subjected to regulation.
You try to imply that areperas owners are conspiring for the good of the country, that they are speculating on the price of the served arepa. Are you aware what is charged in restaurants for other food items? Have you an idea what a burger, industrially made, costs, compared to arepas that by definition and necessity must be artisanal, even in a big joint? Look at the picture of this very average arepera stand: are this people really getting rich out of speculation? Are the people purchasing an arepa there stopped by the high cost of the arepa served?
But most of all, if people are paying for an arepa what one would pay for a burger, does it not speak well of the gastronomic tastes fo the people in Venezuela? And of your poor own taste, by the way.... I mean, arepa de pernil just before going to a tough job activity... no wonder you were in bad mood and screwed the rice concerns.
That you decided on your own what should be the price of an arepa is astoundingly arrogant. Not to mention that your calculation to come up with the price is simply dead wrong. According to you an arepa sold at 20 should cost only 1.50. I can say from that you have no f*****g idea on how arepas are made, the work it takes, the price of the diverse ingredients that go in, and most of all the overhead costs that the stupid policies of your government force upon the areperas. Asshole, why don't you make a living for a few weeks working at an arepera instead of preparing yourself to close them?
Finally, you show how intolerant chavismo is. It is the same old story than for RCTV: did you ever heard of remote control for TV sets? If people watched RCTV instead of VTV was it because RCTV had rigged their TV sets in such way that only RCTV could be detected?
It is the same thing with arepas at 20. If people are willing to pay for them (and my goodness, do they! areperas are full of people at breakfast and lunch time, and not that empty at dinner time) could it not be because they chose to do so? Why did they not stay at home? Or had breakfast before living for work? Or did not bring a sandwich at work? Why did they not go to the cheap Chinese joint? Or to Burger King? Are they THAT STOOOPID to pay top price for an arepa when they can actually roll them themselves at home, just as I do at least once a week?
Why is it that you have that need to rescue us from things that are not threatening us, and along the way making sure that once again arepas will become lousy before eventually disappearing from the streets?
Why is it that you need to get your nose in every detail of our lives? Fuck off!
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PS: read the comments of pro Chavez people in the YVKE link I gave above and here again. Observe that some of the comments are actually xenophobic and that most are simply what your average "resentido social" would say, wanting all near free, as a divine right of sorts. These people cannot even conceive that at some point there will be no areperas left. Mind boggling! No wonder Chavez keeps being reelected, the ignorance of too many of his voters is truly an asset for him.