The 2-page handout

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There are many food shortages in Venezuela. Many Venezuelans cannot buy basic goods. This problem is made worse because people buy too much of something when they see it in the stores. It's a kind of panic buying. President Nicolas Maduro has started a new system to stop people buying too much. Shoppers must soon start scanning their fingerprints when they buy food at grocery stores and supermarkets. This is to make sure that more people can buy an equal share of food and groceries. Mr Maduro has not said when the new system will start, but people close to him say it could be January. It is also unclear how much food people can buy and what happens if they buy too much.

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There are many reasons for Venezuela's food shortages. The government blames smugglers who buy cheap goods and take them to Colombia to resell them for up to four times their original price. Another reason is that the government controls the price of food. Many food companies say the price is too low for them to make a profit, so they do not produce as much as they could. A final reason is the strength of the US dollar against Venezuela's currency. This means it is very expensive to import food from other countries. Critics say the fingerprinting takes away people's privacy and will not work. They say the whole economy needs to change and that the government needs to have less control.



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