Chávez Seizes US Cargill Plant

Venezuela naionalizes rice mill amid food shortages
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2009 4:52 AM CST
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez sings the national anthem during a ceremony in Caracas last month.   (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
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(Newser) – Hugo Chávez yesterday took control of the Venezuelan plant of the American food company Cargill, restarting a drive toward nationalization as the country's oil revenues plummet. Reuters reports that the government seized a rice plant run by Cargill, claiming that mills are deliberately producing small amounts of rice in order to keep prices high. Takeovers by Chávez have distorted the market and contribute to food shortages, economists charge. Cargill officials are working to resolve the issue.