"The current economic and social deterioration in the country has now prompted the company to discontinue operations", Kellogg said in a statement.
US -based food company Kellogg said on Tuesday it had pulled out of Venezuela due to its brutal economic crisis, the latest business to end operations in the oil-rich nation heaving under hyperinflation and strict price controls.
Socialist President Nicolas Maduro said the U.S. 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.
"In December of 2016, Kellogg deconsolidated its Venezuela business from the company's results".
Workers arriving Tuesday for the early shift at Kellogg's factory in Maracay were surprised to find a notice taped to an iron gate informing them the company had been forced to shutter the plant. "Because we are four days away from elections and they think it will spook the people", Maduro said at a campaign rally, adding that he would seek the worldwide arrest of the owners of Kellogg's Venezuelan subsidiary.
Kellogg's joins multinationals including Tokyo-based Bridgestone Corp., Irving, Texas-based Kimberly-Clark Corp. and Minneapolis-based General Mills Inc. that have closed or reduced operations in Venezuela amid hyperinflation, shortages and a recession deeper than the Great Depression of the 1930s. "Imperialists! Oligarchs! Nobody can scare our people".
Maduro blames Venezuela's crisis on an "economic war" he says is waged by Washington, greedy businessmen and coup-mongers. "It will continue to operate in the hands of the working class".
The countries, not all of which belong formally to the group established a year ago in Lima to address the crisis in Venezuela, said they had analyzed possible scenarios and identified a series of "actions" they could take. In 2014, authorities took over two plants belonging to US cleaning products maker Clorox Co after its departure.
Corn Flakes may be even scarcer in Caracas. "It was paralyzed due to lack of raw materials, the government took it and today it is paralyzed".
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