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Venezuela's President Takes Over Large Chain for Inciting 'Food War'

© AP Photo / Ariana CubillosVenezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, speaks during the annual state-of-the-nation address at the National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, speaks during the annual state-of-the-nation address at the National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 - Sputnik International
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Maduro has accused numerous opposition and foreign units of leading "an economic war" against his government by using shortages to provoke social unrest.

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.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, speaks during the annual state-of-the-nation address at the National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 - Sputnik International
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The socialist president refused to name the food and hygiene chain, which operates 36 stores across six Venezuelan cities, but local media, reported it to be Venezuela's Dia a Dia stores.

"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.

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The president also called for the arrest of "company managers and owners," whom he accused of involvement "in a food war against the people."

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.

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