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Venezuela President threatens arrest of officials after US company shuts down production

The company's factory in the city of Maracay has been turned over to its workers. Venezuela has been mired in a deepening economic crisis under Maduro's leftist government, with widespread shortages of basic goods and soaring inflation. Photograph: (AFP)

Reuters Cleveland, United States Jul 19, 2016, 07.31 AM (IST)
Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro threatened Monday to seek the arrest of Kimberly-Clark representatives after the US paper products company shut down production in the country amid a deep economic crisis.

The company, which halted operations two weeks ago, produced items that are in extremely short supply in Venezuela like toilet paper, diapers and feminine hygiene products.

Maduro accused the company of failing to fund social benefits that its workers had been promised. About 900 workers were laid off by the company. 

"The ones who must go to jail will go to jail, no matter where they are," Maduro said, adding that alerts for their arrests would be issued through Interpol.

The company's factory in the city of Maracay has been turned over to its workers, and Maduro insisted that all production lines were in operation.

But one worker at the plant, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP only one of 11 production lines was active.

Fedecamaras, a national business group, estimates that 85 per cent of the country's industries were paralysed in May due to a lack of raw materials.

The country has been mired in a deepening economic crisis under Maduro's leftist government, with widespread shortages of basic goods, soaring inflation and rising insecurity.

(Reuters) 
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