USA -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.
"In December of 2016, Kellogg deconsolidated its Venezuela business from the company's results", Kellogg's statement read.
Kellogg is the latest multinational to close or scale back operations in Venezuela, citing strict currency controls, a lack of raw materials and soaring inflation.
But President Nicolas Maduro called the closure "absolutely unconstitutional and illegal" and said the factory had been handed to workers and would continue cereal production.
The United States based cereal maker Kellogg is pulling out of Venezuela because of the economic deterioration in the country. Rangel noted that the presidential candidates Henri Falcon, Javier Bertucci and Reinaldo Quijada resisted direct pressure from the United States to resign, with the objective of subtracting competitors from the candidate and president, Nicolas Maduro, 'which would facilitate the argument about the fraudulent nature of the elections, ' he argued. Workers said they were prevented from entering the plant in the central city of Maracay on Tuesday.
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Millions in Venezuela suffer food and medicine shortages amid hyperinflation.
In leaving Venezuela, Kellogg joined such companies as Clorox, Kimberly-Clark, General Mills, General Motors, and Harvest Natural Resources. Despite the problems, Maduro is expected to win re-election on Sunday in a vote the main opposition coalition says is a sham.
"Kellogg is not responsible for the unauthorised use of the commercial names and brands that are the property of the company and will exercise legal actions available as necessary", the company said, adding it would like to return to Venezuela in the future.
At least one other US 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.