mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
The Fracas in Caracas
Venezuela Outdoes The Onion

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 Journalthe 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.

Features Icon
show comments
  • Corlyss

    The Onion story wasn’t really a joke. That’s why stores put a checker with a register at the exit of the self-check out stations – the machines screw-up so often and the human checker can clear the machines and check out the frustrated shopper. I particularly like the machines that go ballistic when I put something in a bag that hasn’t first been placed on the little shelf to the left. It’s a glitch. The machines are kind of like Nomad on the original Star Trek show “The Changeling.” They really want to shout “Error! Error! Error!” but they weren’t programed to do so. So they say something like “Unauthorized item in the bagging area!” and just repeat it till I get the human checker to burp them.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    Let’s face the fact that the stupid Venezuelans who voted for Hugo Chavez are no different than the stupid Leftists in American that have voted Twice for the Leftist Obama, who is trying to implement policies identical to those of the idiot Hugo Chavez. We can only thank our luck that the American Democracy has more momentum, and can’t be changed as quickly as the infant Democracy in Venezuela or we would all be now tearing up our libraries for toilet paper.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service