Sunday, January 26th 2014 - 12:06 UTC

Maduro sets limits on company profits and prison terms for hoarding or over charging

Venezuela decreed a new price control law that sets limits on company profits and establishes prison terms for those charged with hoarding or over-charging, part of populist President Nicolas Maduro's efforts to tame inflation.

The Venezuelan president fighting the fundamentals of markets

 Maduro, who was elected last year to succeed the late Hugo Chavez, blames a 56.2% jump in consumer prices in 2013 on an “economic war” led by political adversaries, while critics call it evidence of the failure of Venezuela's state-driven economic model.

The Fair Price Law, which carries out many of the same functions as the almost identically-named Fair Price and Cost Law of 2011, appears to unify a disparate set of controls that were first created by Chavez in 2003.

It sets a maximum profit margin of 30% and requires firms to obtain “fair price certificates” to access dollars through the country's currency control mechanism.

The law carries prison sentences of up to 14 years for crimes including hoarding, “destabilizing the economy” and food trafficking, which refers to people buying subsidized goods and reselling them mainly in neighboring Colombia.

A price enforcement agency called the National Superintendence for Defense of Socioeconomic Rights will be charged with “determining reasonable profit margins.”

Venezuela has for years passed regulations giving state officials sweeping power over the private sector, but selective enforcement tends to make the rules less draconian than they initially appear.

Previous laws created by Chavez called for prison sentences of up to six years for hoarding or overpricing of food.

Maduro's campaign against high prices has appealed even to some of his critics who agree unscrupulous shop owners have taken unfair advantage of consumers amid the inflationary spiral.

16 comments Feed

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1 Captain Poppy (#) Jan 26th, 2014 - 03:15 pm Report abuse
I suppose 3 rolls of tiolet paper can be haording and get you dioing some serious disco time doing hardcore Boogoloo time......even worse......5 years doing the Hustle!
2 ilsen (#) Jan 26th, 2014 - 04:00 pm Report abuse
Easy to laugh, but Vnzla jails are some of the worst in the world, over 500 murdered within the prison system last year, guns, drugs and extreme violence are the currency.
Food/bedding are the responsibility of the prisoner/their family. The guards only control the gates and outside the walls, inside is run by 'pranes' the gang bosses.

Meanwhile, back on the ranch...
Today's prices guys (blue/black market)
76 Bolivars will buy 1 USD (official rate still at 6.3...)
101 Bolivars will buy you 1 Euro
3 golfcronie (#) Jan 26th, 2014 - 09:07 pm Report abuse
What can you buy with 1 Euro?
4 Britworker (#) Jan 26th, 2014 - 10:06 pm Report abuse
Who cares, they voted the lunatic in. A shining example of Latam leadership.
5 ilsen (#) Jan 26th, 2014 - 11:55 pm Report abuse
@ 4 Britworker
hmm.. yes, but debatable regarding the legitimacy of the 14 April 2013 presedential election. Voters gave Nicolás Maduro—who had assumed the role of acting president since Chávez's death—a narrow victory over his opponent Henrique Capriles Radonski, the Governor of Miranda.
The margin of victory was 1.49% - Highly disputed and a recount was denied by the Supreme Court (all appointed by Chavez).
But I totally agree with your last comment, which I can assume was heavily sarcastic? Madurro is an uneducated fool, who Chavez annointed only because he couldn't trust anyone else in his gang...
Venezuela is in a tail-spin and heading towards a full-blow military-socialist dictatorship. Expect it this year.
6 Idlehands (#) Jan 27th, 2014 - 11:00 am Report abuse
Funnily enough I watched “Get The Gringo” over the weekend and it depicted a prison just like the one described in the the link above. Hadn't realised it was based on what they are really like.
7 ChrisR (#) Jan 27th, 2014 - 03:35 pm Report abuse
“The Venezuelan president fighting the fundamentals of markets”

Ha, ha, ha.

Another LatAm president who thinks he can dictate to the markets.

ONLY Mr. Market will decide what happens to the markets.

This bus driving idiot and Dilma have yet to learn that. The more they press the harder the lesson will be.
8 ilsen (#) Jan 28th, 2014 - 03:44 am Report abuse
@7 ChrisR
couldn't agree more. What is confusing though...
Chavez and now Ma-Burro took ideological guidance from Castro. Cuba is now appearing to want to “come in from the Cold” whereas the venezuelan left is determined to drag the country deeper into a Marxist wilderness. ...
any thoughts on that? Anyone?
9 ChrisR (#) Jan 28th, 2014 - 10:23 am Report abuse
@ 8 ilsen

I think the crucial word relating to Cuba is “appearing” because I cannot see the second rank military below the Castro cabal giving up their power, just the opposite.

The “changes” to date have been more to do with getting money from anywhere to prop up the existing regime now that Russia is no longer financing the “experiment” in torturing the States, the social effect as just secondary.

Venezuela is on course for a full blown military takeover and I expect this to be in place before 2015, then they will really be in the crapper.
10 yankeeboy (#) Jan 28th, 2014 - 03:46 pm Report abuse
I wonder when the Happiness Minister will start jailing sad people.

Gads they couldn't be more foolish if they tried.
11 ilsen (#) Jan 28th, 2014 - 05:54 pm Report abuse
@9 - Good points there, Vnzla is now Cuba's experiment IMO...

@10 - May I humbly inform you kind sir, that the full title of, the no doubt highly-esteemed Rafael Ríos, is (now wait for it,,, wait for it...)

Vice Minister of Supreme Social Happiness. (boom-tiddly-boom!)

Fo' real, man! I kid you not!
All together now; “we're off to see the wizard, we're off to see the wizard, the wonderfull wizard of, oh um, shit, shit, oh shit!, OH SHIT! look out!” (crash, bang, wallop, burn etc.)

Meanwhile, back on the ranch (of reality);
“In downtown Caracas, fruit vendor Victor Rey said he is now waiting for Maduro to create a vice ministry of beer. Housewife Liliana Alfonzo, 31, said that instead ... she would prefer being able to get milk and toilet paper.” (Telegraph/AP 26/102013)

Laugh? Cry? Doesn't matter, off to hell in a hand-cart methinks...
12 ChrisR (#) Jan 28th, 2014 - 07:08 pm Report abuse
@ 11 ilsen

They do love their titles in SA don’t they.

The obvious thing though, purely determined empirically, is that the longer the title an individual has the less important they are.
13 ilsen (#) Jan 29th, 2014 - 04:39 am Report abuse
@12 ChrisR
Lol. I have heard that said!

news just in from (Gov rate still held at 6.3/1usd)
1 USD will cost you 79.31 Bsf
1 Euro will cost you 105.14 Bsf
1 UK sterling, if you have to ask, you can't afford it!
14 ron_57 (#) Feb 01st, 2014 - 01:00 am Report abuse
15 Captain Poppy (#) Feb 01st, 2014 - 02:31 pm Report abuse
The richest oil reserve country in the world.........and almost the poorest people in the world.


Who pays the price?

The average Jose Venezuelan.
16 ilsen (#) Feb 04th, 2014 - 12:00 am Report abuse
Feb 3, 2014, a Public Service Announcement.

--- Official Bolivarian ‘Wonderland’ Exchange Rate in Venezuela ---
BCV 6.3Bsf / 1USD (SICAD 11.3Bsf /1 USD*) ----Today’s Reality Cheque --- The ‘Lechuga Verde’ or ‘Blue Dollar’
81.46 Bsf / 1 USD
106.97 Bsf / 1 Euro
Brought to you by Ilsen Publications ©2014 (because is banned/blocked in Vnzla by the current ‘administration’/dictatorship)
*(Ancillary Foreign Currency Administration System)

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