The Venezuelan President has ordered the take over of a rice-processing plant owned by the American food giant Cargill. Hugo Chavez has accused the company of failing to lower the prices it charges for rice, in accordance with a recent government decree.
He said: “Let the expropriation process for Cargill begin. Also, let there be a legal investigation, because its operations is a flagrant violation of everything we have been doing.” Cargill says it will seek talks with the government to resolve the issue. Chavez has also threatened to take over Venezuela’s largest private food company, Polar, also accusing it of ignoring price controls. The company has vowed to take legal action to block any nationalisation. Chavez has already taken over numerous oil, electricity, steel and telecommunications companies.