Kellogg Is Latest Company to Exit Deteriorating Venezeula

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Kellogg Is Latest Company to Exit Deteriorating Venezeula

In a statement, Kellogg said: "The current economic and social deterioration in the country has now prompted the company to discontinue operations". "With no notification, this US-based multinational made a decision to close its doors, leaving 570 workers hanging", said Torres at the plant, in Maracay.

Maduro added that the factory had been handed to workers and production would continue there.

Maduro accused Kellogg of trying to sabotage his chances of getting re-elected in Sunday's presidential vote.

Kellogg's factory in Maracay, with a giant figure of Tony the Tiger lording over the entrance, employs around 550 people and produces 75 percent of the breakfast cereals Venezuelans consume, according to the company's website. Venezuela's economy has been on the decline since oil prices have been lower, while its currency the bolivar has also been losing value. It has one of the highest rates of inflation in the world.

The Kellogg Company says it's closing operations in Venezuela at a time of widespread hunger in the crisis-wracked South American nation.

In 2016, Venezuela's government took over a plant belonging to US-based hygiene products manufacturer Kimberly-Clark after it announced it was stopping operations because it could not obtain raw materials.

For its part, the company warned Maduro against using its patents and brand names for sales "without the expressed authorization of the Kellogg Company".

The Texas-based firm recently requested the start of arbitration proceedings against Venezuela at the World Bank.

President Maduro, who has been in office since 2013, blames Venezuela's problems on an "economic war" being waged by foreign governments and businesses.

Opposition critics scoffed that the government would quickly plunder the Kellogg plant and ruin its business.

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