Maduro seizes Kellogg plant after it leaves Venezuela due to crisis

Kellogg's exits Venezuela over social and economic 'deterioration'

Kellogg's exits Venezuela over social and economic 'deterioration'

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.

Kellogg confirmed later on Tuesday that its manufacturing plant had been seized by the leftist government, the latest company to jump ship amid Venezuela's tough business climate. "The current economic and social deterioration in the country has now prompted the company to discontinue operations", Kellogg said in a statement.

Venezuela's Information Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

FILE - Kellogg's brand food products are photographed in North Andover, Massachusetts, Oct. 31, 2012. Other consumer product companies like General Mills, Kimberly Clark, and Clorox, airlines such as United and Delta, carmakers like GM and many others have all abandoned Venezuela in recent years, with the holdouts –- including Ford and Coca-Cola - operating at a greatly reduced scale. During a public appearance Tuesday, Maduro again referred to the Kellogg shutdown saying it was “illegal and unconstitutional.” Venezuela has been suffering under hyperinflation since October and prevalent shortages of food and medicine are giving way to a massive humanitarian crisis. Despite the problems, Maduro is expected to win re-election on Sunday in a vote the main opposition coalition says is a sham.

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. Even when forcing foreign companies to endure a near impossible business environment, Maduro (and Chavez before him) take every company quitting the company as a personal affront, of which there have been several hundred since 1999, according to Fedecamaras, the largest private-sector guild in the country. All its contractual obligations have been settled with employees, suppliers and customers, the company said, while the license agreement for the use of its brands and characters in Venezuela has been terminated.