Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro is threatening to jail local managers of Kraft Heinz for alleged economic sabotage.
Maduro said that the U.S.-based company was purposefully trying to sow discontent by paralyzing production lines, during a televised speech. He added that the country’s intelligence police would not hesitate to arrest executives.
“Then there’s Heinz. I don’t know who owns it. Tomorrow I am going to look into what is happening at Heinz. If the directors are planning to sabotage Venezuela, the director of Sebin (Bolivarian National Intelligence Service), I’m going to jail them. Enough of the bourgeoisie.” Maduro commented.
Venezuela has been grappling with severe shortages for years, with flour, rice and toilet paper just some of the goods in short supply.
Maduro’s ruling socialist party faces its stiffest electoral challenge in more than a decade on Sunday December 6. The socialists are expected to lose control of the National Assembly.
Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez made it a habit to single out foreign corporations for criticism, including McDonald’s, Clorox Co. and Hilton Worldwide.
Heinz did not immediately respond to a request for comment.