The socialist regime of Venezuela announced this weekend it had obtained 500,000 doses of “Sputnik V,” a Russian coronavirus vaccine candidate, and began distributing the doses to those registered in the nation’s “Fatherland Card” system first.
The “Fatherland Card” is a government identification system that, according to Reuters, dictator Nicolás Maduro paid Chinese telecommunications company ZTE $70 million to build. Venezuelans must use it to access certain government aid programs, including often-necessary food, fuel, and medical purchases. In addition to tracking citizens’ purchases and economic behavior, the “Fatherland Card” documents their known political stances and activity, creating a detailed record of their identity.
Experts have compared its use to China’s “social credit system,” which assigns every Chinese citizen a numerical score based on how much the Communist Party believes it can trust them. Chinese citizens with low “social credit” scores cannot access basic government services and may find themselves