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Thousands of Venezuelans have flocked to electronics stores, hoping to take advantage of the new so-called fair prices imposed by President Nicolas Maduro’s government.

Inflation in Venezuela has hit 54 percent and few can afford to buy electric appliances. As such, Maduro ordered stores to reduce their prices .

Some stores remain closed. Others actually increased their prices by up to 1,000 percent or more, hoping to make a quick profit. This caused anger and resulted in looting.

Maduro has announced the arrests of both looters and store managers, as part of what the government calls an economic war between the socialist state and unscrupulous businessmen.

He said he would use powers that Congress is expected to grant him this week to set legal limits on businesses’ profit margins.

The “fair price” policy will this week be extended to food, footwear, hardware and toys in a major pre-Christmas campaign.

Critics of Maduro say he is stirring chaos rather than defending the poor.

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