Kellogg Shuts Down Cereal Plant in Venezuela

Workers at closed Kellogg factory in Venezuela

Socialist President Nicolas Maduro said the USA multinational's factory in the western city of Maracay had been "handed over to the workers" after Kellogg announced it was ending operations in the South American country.

"The current economic and social deterioration in the country has now prompted the company to discontinue operations", Kellogg said in a statement, noting that it had already written off the value of its Venezuela holdings.

Kellogg announced its retreat earlier on Tuesday, making it the latest multinational to exit the oil-rich country, which is heaving under hyperinflation and strict price controls.

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. "Because we are four days away from elections and they think it will spook the people", Maduro told supporters.

Maduro is blaming everyone for his mess, mostly the USA, but "accusing America of creating Venezuela's crisis is about as fair as accusing O.J. Simpson of murdering Princess Diana - I'm not saying it would be completely out of character, it just happens to not be true in this particular instance", Oliver said.

"Over the last few years it seems like every time Venezuela has been on the news it's because something bad has been happening", Oliver said.

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Omar Rodriguez, who has spent 26 years working at Kellogg's, said he doesn't know how he'll feed his three children without his job.

In 2014, the government took over two plants belonging to cleaning products producer Clorox. "It was paralyzed due to lack of raw materials, the government took it and today it is paralyzed".

The closure is not expected to significantly worsen food shortages in Venezuela, but it was a further blow to morale for many Venezuelans as Kellogg's is the most popular and available cereal in the country.

It also said it hoped to return to Venezuela in the future and warned against sales of its brands "without the expressed authorization of the Kellogg Company".

The socialist regime nationalized the company's production plant in the city of Maracay in response to the move. You can sign up to receive it directly here.

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