Latin American Herald Tribune | 8/6/2009 12:00:00 AM
Venezuela To Take Permanent Control of Seized Coffee Companies
Aug 06--Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says his government will expropriate the country's two largest coffee processing companies they seized earlier this week
The government seized temporary control of the companies this week, and is now saying it is investigating whether they illegally smuggled coffee out of the country to circumvent price controls.
Agriculture and Land Minister Elías Jaua, who earlier this week announced that two coffee processing companies had been “temporarily” taken over by the state, has claimed an illegal “parallel market” is operating in the industry.
An illegal market in contraband Venezuelan coffee in Colombia, he said. In Venezuela, sales of coffee are subject to official prices set and enforced by the government, and prices in Colombia are higher.
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