Kellogg Latest US Brand To Ditch Crisis Wracked Venezuela

MARACAY, Venezuela (AP) — Kellogg Co. closed operations in Venezuela and laid off 300 workers Tuesday at a time of widespread hunger in the crisis-wracked South American nation.

The Battle Creek, Michigan-based company said in a statement that it ceased operations as a result of the "current economic and social deterioration" in Venezuela.

The move drew an angry rebuke from socialist President Nicolas Maduro, who accused the company of trying to sabotage his chances of getting re-elected in Sunday's presidential vote. He said he had ordered the company's plant in the central city of Maracay to be turned over to Kellogg's workers so they can continue to produce cereals.

"Why are they doing it today? 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 international arrest of the owners of Kellogg's Venezuelan subsidiary. "Imperialists! Oligarchs! Nobody can scare our people."

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Kellogg latest US brand to ditch crisis-wracked Venezuela