The appointment of a new minister for commerce has sparked controversy in Venezuela, where inflation rates rose to over fifty per cent last year. The government claims an “economic war” is being waged against the country, causing massive queues in supermarkets as citizens wait in line for hours to get ahold of subsidies products. Lack of staple goods remains a problem, with many Venezuelans growing tired of the shortages. Using his newly - acquired decree powers, President Maduro announced that business profits are to be capped at thirty percent. Business owners, such as Jose Luis Ramos who sells clothing in his Caracas shop, are finding the new laws impossible to abide by. The amount of dollars available to Venezuelans travelling abroad at the official rate has been reduced this year, while black market rates soar to thirteen times the official. Venezuela’s new commerce minister says his goal is to help resolve the country’s poor reputation for private enterprise. With shortages worsening and new laws controlling profit - margins, the minister has signed up for one of government’s most challenging jobs in 2014.