Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, ordered ministers to take over a large Venezuelan chain on Tuesday, detaining the proprietors for inciting "a food war against the people," reports AFP.
"I gave specific orders to the vice president (in charge) of food sovereignty and safety" that the stores "be requisitioned at dawn," Maduro said Monday night.
The take-over occurs as food, medical and industrial supply shortages thrive with inflation at nearly 64 percent. Venezuela, being an oil-rich nation, is hard hit by falling crude prices, resulting in inflation.
Maduro has blamed numerous opposition and foreign units of leading "an economic war" against his government by using shortages to provoke social unrest.
The production take-overs have been common in Venezuela since Hugo Chavez rose to power in 1999.