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Maduro government 'occupies' Venezuela electronics chain

Saturday, November 09, 2013 - 01:22

Nov. 9 - Venezuelans line up outside an electronics store after President Nicolas Maduro ordered its ''occupation'' to ensure products are sold at fair prices. Karen Hendren reports.

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About 500 shoppers lined up outside a Caracas electronics store hoping to take advantage of lower prices. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the "occupation" of the 500-employee Daka electronics chain... in a government crackdown on retail price-gouging. SOUNDBITE: (Spanish) VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT NICOLAS MADURO SAYING: "I've ordered the immediate occupation of this chain to offer its products to the people at fair prices, everything. Let nothing remain in stock. Enough." Maduro has stopped short of more outright nationalizations, saying authorities would instead force Daka to sell at prices fixed by the state. Shopper Maria Emilia Sanchez said it's welcome news. SOUNDBITE: (Spanish) ELECTRONICS SHOPPER MARIA EMILIA SANCHEZ SAYING: "I have been trying to buy a refrigerator for one month now and I haven't been able to because the goods are too expensive. It seems like an exaggeration what's happening." Various managers of the 5-store chain have been arrested. Critics blame excessive government controls for shortages of household goods ranging from flour to toilet paper. They say Venezuela's runaway inflation rate - now at 54 percent - is due to economic mismanagement and the failure of socialist policies rather than greedy retailers.

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Maduro government 'occupies' Venezuela electronics chain

Saturday, November 09, 2013 - 01:22