Venezuelan soldiers have temporarily shut down dozens of retail stores across the country in an effort to prevent price hikes.

The closures - on government orders  - come days after Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, devalued the national currency from 2.15 to the dollar to 2.60 for basic goods.

The move means Venezuelans will have to spend 20 per cent more on essential items like food and that has prompted a rush on goods that residents fear could become more expensive.

But as Al Jazeera's Roger Wilkison reports, opposition leaders have denounced the devaluation as a thinly veiled attempt to generate more government spending ahead of congressional elections in September.

Source: Al Jazeera