I guess long time readers of this blog may blanch at the title, but bear with me a tad longer.
I have stopped living regularly in Yaracuy but I am in close touch. I still hold a home there. So checking things when I came back from my recent trip overseas I learned what is simply a staggering piece of news.
Now people need to register for a list of food items, namely the most wanted list of regulated basic staples: corn flour, corn oil, chicken and a half dozen more. The system will work as follow.
Somebody will come to your home and will register you and how many live there. Then, as items become available, someone will visit you in advance and you need to pay. You will get informed at what date delivery will come and you will need to have someone at home to receive the goods. These goods cannot be purchased anymore at any store in Yaracuy. You can only get them through registration at your local town hall and receive them either through home delivery or neighborhood distribution. Apparently local branches of PDVAL and MERCAL will simply close.
I could not get all the details as it seems they sort of vary according to the type of neighborhood you live in. One contact got a distribution of corn flour and chicken at the end of the street just because the consejo comunal knew she lived there (she had registered anyway). Another one has duly registered early in January. Once she received black beans after a two weeks delay after paying for them (200 Bs, 2 dimes!). Another time she got corn flour and mayo or something.
What is wrong with this picture?
First, the apparent commodity of having home delivery is an excuse: you can control better on an individual basis who gets what and remind them of that each and every time,
Second, the state can do significant "savings" on goods availability. Indeed, being absent from Yaracuy during this registration process I cannot purchase anything and I am sure that registering after the fact is not going to be easy. Never mind that if there is nobody home when you are visited at putting the order time, well, you get no delivery. And the better if delivery is when, say, you are at work.
Third, this is a monstrously complicated and expensive system to set in place. A ration card system with an assigned store would be much simpler and cheaper, if you must ration. Hence the title of this post.
Fourth, it is extremely sectarian and anti business. Of course. Not only stores are now forbidden to sell certain type of goods but you cannot buy certain type of goods out of your living areas. Soon enough we move on to conditions like soviet areas where people in certain cities had access to more varied type of goods than folks in small towns and country side where nobody could visit and thus could figure out what was going on. A little bit more and you will need a permit to travel between San Felipe and Caracas.
Why, oh why?
Julio Leon Heredia is Yaracuy governor and he is a fascist. I do not know as of this typing if other states are having such schemes set up, but I would not be surprised at all that Yaracuy is ahead of the pack. This is quite along the lines of the autocratic mentality of Heredia, someone blocked to any dialogue and who in addition is still in shock at the loss of his own brother election in December 6 and who is probably delighted at punishing the Yaracuy people that did not vote for him at a 80% rate. It is just that simple, I know the character, I have already been a victim of his administration.