Here is some disturbing news I was told the other night. Apparently, on March 3 congress in Venezuela passed a law that forbids the manufacture, importation, distribution, purchase, sale, rent or use of "violent" toys and videogames. But since the law is non-specific about what actually constitutes a "violent" toy or game, nearly everything that can be viewed as such is now outlawed. So retailers have pulled things like Star Wars, G.I.Joe, Transformers, Max Steel, Power Rangers, etc from their shelves!
Furthermore, auction sites have been pulling toy auctions and the post offices are cracking down on it as well so collectors can't buy toys in stores locally or order them from abroad! To be caught doing so means fines and/or 3-5 years in prison. Of course, I bolded the word "use" above because no one is exactly sure what they mean by that. Is "collecting" the same thing as "using"? As crazy as it sounds, right now people are worried about being sent to prison for collecting toys!
Evidently the reason all of this started is a videogame called "Mercenaries 2: World In Flames". Now, I'm not a gamer so I never heard of it until I was told about the situation there, but apparently it's a game produced in the US, at least in part by people who have made videos for the US military, and the subject of the game is the overthrow of the Venezuelan president?! Now, I can see being all kinds of angry about such a thing, but to take it out on the Venezuelan people seems ridiculously absurd to me.
I know that the game has nothing to do with me, and that the law is an overreaction of epic proportions, but I still feel a bit of remorse that something produced in my country is causing such a big problem for all my friends in theirs.
After all the problems I've had with customs breaking into and breaking my shipments from Venezuela, I'd planned for my next one to be shipped to Japan before being sent to me. But it looks like unless something in changed, there isn't going to be a next one at all.
Many thanks once again must go to my good friend Juan Carlos Azpurua, who posted this news on his superlative blog Figurasdeaccion and provided me with all the details in English.