Venezuela to Fingerprint Grocery Shoppers
Maduro says move will foil smugglers
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2014 2:24 AM CDT
People buy government-subsidized food at a state-run market in Caracas.   (AP Photo/Fernando Llano, File)

(Newser) – Venezuelan grocery shoppers won't be able to buy food without a fingerprint scan under tough new anti-smuggling measures unveiled by President Nicolas Maduro. Subsidies and price controls keep food in Venezuela a lot cheaper than in neighboring countries and Maduro says the new biometric system will be an "antifraud blessing" that will stop smugglers buying too much of any one item and ease the country's food shortages, GlobalPost finds.

Maduro says smuggling diverts nearly half the country's food, but critics say he needs to fix Venezuela's economy instead of fingerprinting shoppers. "This is nothing less than the Cuban rationing book," an opposition lawmaker said. "The government can't presume to tell a family what it's going to eat." Another thing in short supply in Venezuela: Flights to and from other countries. A dispute over billions of dollars in cash stuck in the country because of currency controls has caused many airlines to reduce or completely cut flights to Venezuela, and the US Embassy has warned that travelers might find themselves stuck, the AP reports.

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Showing 3 of 18 comments
Chuck Roast
Aug 23, 2014 8:59 AM CDT
America, please learn you are currently headed down a similar path.......
Tru2form
Aug 22, 2014 10:47 AM CDT
This technology would seem to work for USDA food stamp recipients as well. The give-a-way program is outta control. Venezuela is out in the lead on this bio-metric stuff while the U.S. utilizes it only to harass legal tourists at airports entry while playing free and easy at the Mexican border.
Arthur Machado
Aug 22, 2014 8:09 AM CDT
After seeing the disaster that is Venezuela I have no idea how anyone could ever be a socialist. And what really amazes me is that all the socialists claim to be the smartest people on the planet.