U.S.-based cereal maker Kellogg Co pulled out of Venezuela due to the country’s deep economic crisis, and an angry President Nicolas Maduro said its units would be taken over and given to workers.
Authorities in Venezuela have seized a plant owned by the American cereal manufacturer Kellogg.
It comes after the firm announced it was pulling out of the country because of the worsening economic situation.President Nicolas Maduro, who has previously accused the US of waging economic war against his government, called the closure "absolutely unconstitutional and illegal".
He said the factory had been handed to workers and would continue production.Earlier, workers had said they had been prevented from entering the plant in the central city of Maracay on 15th May. The company’s local operations had around 400 workers, according to local media.The announcement comes ahead of presidential elections.
The food giant is just the latest international company to partially or completely close shop in the troubled and chaotic nation. Other multinational companies that have given up on the OPEC country, abandoning assets or selling them cheap, include Clorox , Kimberly-Clark ,General Mills, General Motors and Harvest Natural Resources.
Venezuela's battered economy has been hit by falling oil revenue and the plummeting value of its currency, the bolivar. It also has one of the highest rates of inflation in the world. Kellogg is the latest multinational to close or scale back operations in Venezuela, citing strict currency controls, a lack of raw materials and soaring inflation.It said it hoped to return to Venezuela in the future and warned against sales of its brands "without the expressed authorisation of the Kellogg Company". President Maduro, who has been in office since 2013, blames Venezuela's problems on an "economic war" being waged by foreign governments and businesses. His critics say government mismanagement is the chief cause.