In what some have described as “little more than government-sponsored looting,” on Saturday thousands of Venezuelans lined up outside the country’s five Daka outlets -- a consumer-electronics chain similar to Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) -- awaiting bargains after the socialist government forced the company to charge “fair” prices.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the military to occupy Daka’s five stores in what he called a crackdown on the “economic war” being waged by the five stores.
Armed national guardsmen kept order at the stores as citizens hunted for bargains.
“I want a Sony (NYSE:ADR) plasma television for the house,” said Amanda Lisboa, 34, to USA Today. “It’s going to be so cheap!”
Because there is such a shortage of dollars in Venezuela, TVs often sell for nine times their government-regulated value, hence the inflated prices.
"This is for the good of the nation," President Maduro told USA Today. "Leave nothing on the shelves, leave nothing in the warehouses...let nothing remain in stock."
Televisions were one of the most in-demand items at one Caracas store, but other items like refrigerators, sewing machines and washing machines were also in demand.