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Venezuela tightens control of food amid shortages, ‘economic war’

January 22, 2015, 9:39 UTC+3 MEXICO CITY
The country’s President Nicolas Maduro said the food shortage is the result of an “economic war” waged by the political opposition in an effort to remove him from power
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© EPA/CAROLA SOLE

MEXICO CITY, January 22. /TASS/. Venezuela plans to tighten control over the food distribution and supplies amid unprecedented shortages in shops, the country’s President Nicolas Maduro said in his annual address to parliament on Wednesday.

Maduro said the food shortage is the result of an “economic war” waged by the political opposition in an effort to remove him from power.

The president, the successor to late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, announced plans to change the current model of distribution and trade in the recession-hit Venezuelan economy.

“Starting from today, the government will carry out a campaign on thorough checks of suppliers of consumer goods in the framework of the fight against the severe shortage of some goods and the poor provision to the population,” Maduro said.

Maduro warned that those planning “sabotages” will be held responsible for their actions.

Venezuela, one of the world’s largest oil exporters, is widely considered the nation which is the hardest hit by the global oil price fall. The country’s economy shrank 2.8% in 2014 while inflation topped 63%

The South American country has been battling the shortages of food, basic goods, household items and medicines that have sparked massive shopping lines in recent months.

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