The Venezuelan government is responding to a bread shortage by detaining bakers and seizing establishments. In a press release, the National Superintendent for the Defense of Socioeconomic Rights said it had temporarily seized two bakeries for breaking a number of rules, including selling overpriced bread, and charged four people as the administration accused bakers of being part of an “economic war” aimed at destabilizing the country.
The government said the bakers had been selling underweight bread and illegally making specialty items, such as sweet rolls and croissants.The government said bakeries are only allowed to produce French bread and white loaves, with government-imported flour.
Juan Crespo, the president of the Industrial Flour Union, said “The government isn’t importing enough wheat,” he said. “If you don’t have wheat, you don’t have flour, and if you don’t have flour, you don’t have bread.” He also stated that the country needs four, 30-ton boats of wheat every month to cover basic demand.