The policy was immediately denounced by the opposition who said the measure treated citizens as thieves, breaching their privacy, and likened the measure to rationing.
Communications manager at the Adam Smith Institute, Kate Andrews, said:
A system that needs to implement heavy surveillance in local food markets or deploy 17,000 troops along the border to prevent the smuggling of staple food items is a failed system indeed. Rather than allocating time and resources into policing the purchases of apples and pears, President Maduro should abolish price controls, creating an economy where commerce and consumption are encouraged, not criminalised.The situation got so bad in January, thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets to protest soaring inflation and rampant crime. In 2013, Venezuela recorded 25,000 murders, five times the amount seen in 1998. Since then, the crisis has only escalated, with the central banks' scarcity index reaching an eye-watering 21 per cent in April, meaning one in five basic goods were out of stock at any one time, while inflation rose a crushing 62 per cent in the year to June.