I've had a bit of fun with Venezuela over the last couple of years, over the national shortage of that vital commodity - toilet paper. With decades of experience in commercial janitorial (thankfully, never in Venezuela), I've noticed that a shortage, in a give restroom, of said commodity can produce irate customers faster than most any other oversight. When an entire nation experiences such an oversight, I figure worse is soon to come.
I am vindicated.
Of late, Venezuela has taken to confiscating children's toys, in the run up to Christmas, from manufactures and distributors, suspecting a plot to sell said toys to better paying customers abroad (avoiding price caps at home). The toys are said to be destined for sale, at a discount, in poorer neighborhoods. So, the government is stealing toys, and then selling them to poor folks.
The next step was announced yesterday. The largest banknote in Venezuela, the 100 bolivar note, is worth about three cents American - and makes up some 70% of the currency. The government is calling in all such currency, to be deposited in one's bank, and held by the bank until the government sees fit to replace it with larger denomination or less inflated currency (if ever). The old currency must be deposited within the next 72 hours, or it becomes worthless. This in a country with 40% of the population that does not use banks, or have bank accounts.
And the first indication was a lack of toilet paper.