Operating a privately owned bakery at a profit is now a crime in one South American country. The nation’s government is seizing bakeries and jailing bakers who make anything but loaves of bread.
At least two bakeries in Venezuela have been seized and four people jailed as part of the “bread war” declared by President Nicolas Maduro, The Miami Herald reported. It is part of Maduro’s effort to end bread lines and shortages of baked goods in the country.
Maduro sent soldiers to more than 700 bakeries to enforce a rule that 90 percent of their production must be bread, not pastries or cakes, Reuters reported. A least one bakery will be run by the government for three months.
Bakeries in Venezuela can only produce French bread or white bread, with government supplied flour, under Maduro’s orders. They then must sell the bread at prices set by the government. It is also illegal to make items like brownies, sweet rolls and croissants.
Flour Shortage and Bread Shortage
The problem is that the government is not supplying the bakeries with any flour because it cannot pay for flour or wheat, said Juan Crespo of the Industrial Flour Union, a group that represents Venezuela’s bakers.