Taking a page straight out of the Castro dictatorship handbook, Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro is now trying to vilify and blame the country’s largest food producer for the lack of food in that country brought about by the corrupt government’s mismanagement and embezzlement.
Venezuela Food Maker Denies Blame for Shortages
Venezuela’s biggest food company on Monday hit back at President Nicolas Maduro’s claims that it’s to blame for the country’s persistent food shortages.
The chief executive of Empresas Polar, Lorenzo Mendoza, rejected accusations by the president that the company has reduced production and is hoarding products to create scarcity.
“The accusations that we are producing less than last year are false,” Mendoza told reporters. “I presume that President Nicolas Maduro is not well informed about the situation and about what’s happening.”
Mendoza said his company has increased production of cornmeal by 10 percent in the past four months, and he offered to buy or rent government-owned corn processing plants to boost output event further.
Shortages of basic foods including sugar, milk, butter and cornmeal are a recurring annoyance to consumers in this oil-rich nation of 30 million people. Cornmeal is a crucial ingredient in arepas, or corn cakes, a local specialty.
Food makers say the shortages stem from the socialist government’s price controls, designed to make basic goods affordable to the poorest parts of society. They also point to the government’s control of foreign currency they need to buy pesticides, fertilizers, animal food and machinery from abroad.
Maduro, the hand-picked successor of the late Hugo Chavez, has put the blame for shortages squarely on the private sector, which he accused Monday of sabotaging the domestic market through “economic warfare.”
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