The lead story of that summit of satire, The Onion, on Wednesday told us the tale of supermarket worker whose “entire job consists of undoing the handiwork of the store’s self-checkout machines.” But it appears that yet again, whatever jokes The Onion can come up with, Venezuela can top in real life.According to The Wall Street Journal, the Bolivarian Revolution has succeeded so spectacularly that the government in the Venezuelan state of Zulia is now rationing groceries by scanning customers’ fingerprints. Naturally, though, the country that can’t keep toilet paper on the shelves is having trouble producing smoothly-functioning futuristic technology. The result:
Shoppers said the time waiting in line can stretch to more than five hours, a delay they chalk up to malfunctioning fingerprinting machines.“I’ve spent hours standing in line, suffering in the sun,” shrieked a tearful Luzmarina Vargas, clad in a bright pink robe typical of the area’s Wayuu Indians.Salvador González, the Zulia state finance director who oversees machines, said officials were requiring machines to be installed at each checkout point in order to shorten lines. Supermarkets must bear the cost of the machines, around $150 each.
We like to laugh at Chavismo here, but lately the scene there has become more laugh-lest-you-cry. Other Venezuelans interviewed by the Journal could not find diapers or soap, and many had the water cut off in their houses for up to 108 hours per week. National default might be right around the corner. Despite floating on a sea of oil, the thugs who govern Venezuela have managed to run it into the ground. Its people are the ones paying the price.