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Chávez said Tuesday that the card could be used to buy groceries at the government chain of markets and supplies.
``I have called it a Good Life Card so far,'' Chávez said in a brief statement made on the government television channel. ``It's a card for you to purchase what you are going to take and they keep deducting. It's to buy what you need, not to promote communism, but to buy what just what you need.''
Humberto Ortega Díaz, minister for public banking and president of the Venezuelan Bank, minimized such criticism and said that all this measure is trying to do is to improve service at the government supply chains.
``Why can't our Bicentennial chain use a card to make it easier for customers to buy their groceries?'' the minister said in an interview broadcast on a government channel. He said that this type of initiative has been used by private commercial entities.