For several years, Venezuela has been in the midst of an economic depression that has been compounded by the country’s strict economic policies, which have become even more restrictive as the crisis had deepened.
The country has faced mass inflation and product shortages that have led to empty store shelves and constant market plunges and disruptions. In some cases, people are having trouble even being able to buy the basic necessities, like food and toilet paper. At one point, the government actually began to set controls and rations for toilet paper, even going so far as to send troops to take over toilet paper factories.
In more recent news from Venezuela that is stranger than fiction, McDonald’s french fries have recently went back on sale after a long hiatus, but an order of them are going for anywhere between $79 and $133, depending on the size of the order and the location.
“The customers have been coming in really excited. But when we tell them the price, not so much,” cashier Yefferson Romero said.
Oddly enough it was reported that a black market has developed for the fries, where they can be found illegally for the equivalent of 64 cents.
To justify the price, McDonald’s is saying that the fries are not the traditional McDonalds fries, but they are locally grown and have a “new taste.”
Back in 2013, areas of Venezuela began a system of rationing where customers were given electronic cards to limit their purchases of items such as rice, cooking oil, and toilet paper.
An economist at Andres Bello University, Ronald Balza, said he doesn’t see how rationing certain foodstuffs can address the true cause of shortages.
“The reason for shortages (in Zulia) is the same as it is in the rest of the country: fixed prices, supply problems and the preventative purchases that consumers make every time new (higher) prices are coming,” he said.
John Vibes writes for True Activist and is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war.
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