1. Due to shortages of basic, price-controlled commodities, Venezuela has introduced a rationing system that limits the quantities people can buy in supermarkets. People being people, have started buying the max quantity in one supermarket and then going to another and buying more. So the government is piloting a web-based system that registers all purchases of rationed items and supposedly will prevent duplicate buying (the article is very short on details of how this would work, it may just be cheap talk / jawboning). Among the 20 rationed goods are “leche, arroz, aceite, harina, azúcar, papel higiénico, crema dental” (milk, rice, cooking oil, flour, sugar, toilet paper, toothpaste). Yikes!
2. The Venezuelan government is trying to gauge international interest in a bond sale to raise dollars to buy….toilet paper? Plenty of other snarky tidbits in the article including the fact that while the (recently devalued) Bolivar officially exchanges at 6.3 per dollar, the black market rate is around 28 per dollar.
3. Finally, an amazing article about political feuding inside post-Chavez Chavismo by the excellent Alma Guillermo-Prieto in the NY Review of Books.