Venezuela

Venezuela Seizes More Stores Ahead of Elections

A lesson in buying votes

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Forcing stores to sell their merchandise for a price that the owners say will put them out of business may sound like a bad idea, but President Nicola Maduro is not angling to improve the economy, Venezuelans say.

"This is going to help him and his party in the short term," says Alfredo Ramos , a political science professor at the University of the Andes in Merida. "His actions are motivating his backers to go out and vote, and disheartening his opponents. However, his actions could very well hurt him in the medium term."

Thousands of people have lined up in front of electronics stores and hardware stores that have been ordered by Maduro to empty their inventories at cut-rate prices.

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