Venezuela Responds to Bread Shortage … By Arresting Bakers and Seizing Bakeries

A saleswoman sells bread at a bakery in Caracas, Venezuela March 17, 2017. REUTERS/Marco Bello – RTX31GXD

In the midst of a bread shortage, Venezuela’s government arrested four bakers this week, seizing two bakeries for 90 days. President Nicolás Maduro is kicking his “bread war” policy into high gear, sending inspectors and soldiers into more than 700 bakeries around the capital to enforce tight regulations and price controls.

“Those behind the ‘bread war’ are going to pay, and don’t let them say later it is political persecution,” Maduro warned at the start of last week, the Associated Press (AP) reported. His ruling United Socialist Party blames bakers for the bread shortage, arguing that if they break the government’s price controls they are waging a “bread war” on the stability of Venezuela.

In a press release, the national superintendent for the defense of socioeconomic rights announced it had charged four people and temporarily seized two bakeries, accusing the bakers of conspiring in an “economic war” to destabilize the country, the Miami Herald reported. The government…