Venezuela’s government “temporarily” seized a pasta factory owned by US food giant Cargill May 15 in the coastal state of Vargas. Flanked by soldiers at the plant, Vice-Minister of Food Rafael Coronado said the government will run the factory for at least 90 days, having found it guilty of violating price controls. The move further increases President Hugo Chávez’s hold on the economy, after a series of recent take-overs of private and foreign-owned businesses—including a Cargill rice plant. (La Reforma, Mexico, Radio Netherlands, May 16; BBC News, May 15)
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