Kellogg's latest U.S. brand to close door on Venezuela

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

Authorities in Venezuela have seized a plant owned by the American cereal manufacturer Kellogg.

In a statement, Kellogg said: "The current economic and social deterioration in the country has now prompted the company to discontinue operations".

President Nicolas Maduro, who has previously accused the United States of waging economic war against his government, called the closure "absolutely unconstitutional and illegal".

President Nicolas Maduro, who is standing for re-election, told a rally that he would hand control of the factory over to the workers. "With no notification, this US-based multinational chose to close its doors, leaving 570 workers hanging", said Torres at the plant, in Maracay.

Maduro accused the company of trying to threaten his chances of becoming reelected in the country's upcoming presidential vote which takes place on Sunday.

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"I've taken the decision to deliver the company to the workers in order that they can continue producing for the people". 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 said it hoped to return to Venezuela in the future and warned against sales of its brands "without the expressed authorization of the Kellogg Company".

The US-based cereal giant is the latest multinational to close or reduce operations in Venezuela as the country is gripped in a recession and widespread hunger. Maduro blames Venezuela's crisis on an "economic war" that he says is being waged by Washington, greedy businessmen and coup-mongers.

At least one other USA company had already threatened legal proceedings against the country when Venezuela took control of a plant once belonging to Kimberly-Clark and began making personal hygiene products.

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

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