CLAPs: Venezuela’s New Discriminatory Food Rationing System

By: Guest Contributor - Jun 9, 2016, 3:26 pm
“CLAP is politicizing hunger of the people and it is doomed to fail,” one senator said. (Noticias24)

By Ysol Delgado

EspañolSince last April, President of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro has been working on a new strategy for distributing food, which has resulted in a notable increase in protests nationwide. The outline is named the Local Committee of Supply and Production, better known by its Spanish acronym CLAP.

What is CLAP? 

According to Maduro, CLAP would be a new way of organizing food distribution in partnership with the Ministry of Food, delivering regulated products house by house.

This system has been questioned by businessmen and other voices of the political opposition, who consider the national government’s method discriminatory.

Also, political leaders say that instead of solving the food problem, it will only exacerbate it.

Authorities said the process is being developed with the goal of bringing people food as well as of articulating all the components of the distribution methods, which must be able to serve the population in a comprehensive way. Some worry the execution may not go so smoothly.

“If everyone gets food, that’s great,” a member of CLAP told the newspaper El Nacional for an extensive report about the issue. “But if we have to prioritize certain people, we will prioritize.”

However, Stalin González — the official for the party Alianza Bravo Pueblo — said through his Twitter that this Friday, “these games have become a form of discrimination.”

Though the ruling party and the opposition are faced with figuring out this new measure, which consists of selling bags of food to houses throughout the country, the columnist of the pro-government newspaper Aporrea José Gregorio Zambrano wrote in a recent article about CLAP. He added that this policy will ensure, “hunger for today and also for tomorrow.”

Recently, the National Assembly debated the approval of an accord that would fight CLAP.

“CLAP is politicizing hunger of the people and it is doomed to fail, as all of the adminstration’s policies are,” legislator Julio Borges said at the start of the debate.

Venezuela’s Top Court Bans Media Footage of Lynchings

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Jun 9, 2016, 12:13 pm

EspañolThe Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Justice Tribunal in Venezuela has ordered the prohibition of all digital media in the country showing lynchings. According to the order, digital press will not be aloud to inform Venezuelans about acts of hanging through audiovisuals, nor through social media. Read More: Asphyxia and Drills: How Venezuelan Political Prisoners in Get Tortured  The new rule is due to a lawsuit brought against La Patilla y Caraota Digital. The prohibition will also extended to all national media communication with the ability to broadcast videos online. Judge Lourdes Benicia Suárez Anderson said the country's constitution gives "social communicators" the right to express the news journalistically, and users have the right to receive adequate information. However, he emphasized this does not give media the right to create anxiety and uncertainty in the population, since "social communication" should ultimately contribute to the development of the individual and of society. // Lynchings have unfortunately returned to being a common act in Venezuela. According to a report by the Venezuelan Education Program's Human Rights Division, there were somewhere between six and 25 hangings every year between 2001 and 2011. But in 2015, those numbers reached historic highs. Between January and October, there were 38 lynchings throughout the country. During the first three months of 2016, there were 29 reported lynchings. Not all cases resulted in the death of the lynched person, but the majority of people were at least badly injured. Read More: Maduro Plans to Sue Venezuelan Congress Over “Treason” A February study done by the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence (VOV) revealed that 60 percent of the population approved lynching while only 32 to 34 percent rejected it. VOV Director Roberto Briceño León said "fatigue, anguish and the abscence from state protection have made public reactions more intense and violent." The majority of lynching cases that VOV has studied and observed were against people that had tried to rob someone on the street — pickpockets, or people who snatch cell phones and try to run. "It doesn't happen to gangs because they walk in large groups and it's too difficult to lynch just one of them," the specialist said. Source: Entorno Inteligente; El Nacional

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