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Javier Alejandro Hernandez wakes up as his mother Katiuska Oliveros, not in picture, comes home from shopping at a government grocery named "Mercal" at Las Acacias shanty town in Caracas, Venezuela, in 2006. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

Venezuelan authorities seized millions of toys to give to poor kids on Christmas


This week Venezuelan authorities seized nearly 4 million toys from warehouses to distribute to low income families for the Christmas holiday.

According to Bloomberg, the toys were taken from toy importer Distribuidora Kreisel in Caracas, which the Venezuelan government has previously accused of hoarding merchandise and price gouging. The government in the past years has ordered price cuts before Christmas.

Poverty in Venezuela has surged in recent years due to high inflation and a weak currency.

Companies will learn that they can't play with the rights of the Venezuelans.
William Contreras

"Venezuela’s boys and girls will have their baby Jesus guaranteed, and these companies will learn that they can't play with the rights of the Venezuelans," the country's price czar, William Contreras, said about the toy seizures, Bloomberg reported. He said they would be distributed by the Clap, the government's network that provides food to low income residents.

These are members of Venezuela's national guard standing next to confiscated toys.

This Twitter user posted photos of the toys, empathizing with the children.

Another person broke down the math for the number of toys that could go to each family.

And another called out Venezuelan authorities for taking from private businesses.

As Bloomberg explains, this tactic is not unusual for the Venezuelan government to take. In recent years the government has taken a hard line approach on prices on everything from eggs and shoes to toys. 

They have also confiscated merchandise or imposed sanctions on noncompliant businesses.

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