News reports indicate that Venezuela is starting to install fingerprint scanners in supermarkets as a way of preventing ‘food hoarding’. Venezuela is experiencing widespread shortages of most foodstuffs including the most basic such as bread, flour and grains as well as an acute shortage of medicines.
Unable to buy imported food due to a plummeting currency and falling oil prices resulting in a lack of revenue, Venezuelans are becoming increasingly desperate.
President Maduro has accused Colombian food smugglers of buying up massive amounts of staples to sell back to people at vastly marked up prices.
The scanners that are being installed in stores are to prevent people buying more than their allotted quota as the implementation of rationing begins.
In a statement President Maduro said:
"We will establish 20,000 fingerprint readers throughout the socialist system to guarantee the people their food. And also (there) has been a meeting today with the seven major private channels and all voluntarily join the establishment of the secure supply system," said the president in an announcement translated from Spanish on his website. (source)
An Executive Order from Barack Obama this week saw further sanctions applied to some Venezuelan citizens including freezing their assets in the United States and the prevention of United States' businesses trading with them. The reasoning behind the sanctions, according to Obama is the “unusual and extraordinary threat” that Venezuela poses to the security and foreign policy of the United States.