Venezuela's president ordered the country's main beer producer to reopen its breweries or risk being jailed for 'sabotaging the country'.
Food and beverage company Empresas Polar, which supplies 80 per cent of beer drunk in Venezuela, shut down its last operating plant in April.
In response, President Nicolas Maduro has now threatened to take over idle factories, saying that business owners who 'sabotage the country' by halting production, risk being 'put in handcuffs.'
Speaking to supporters in the capital, Caracas, the president ordered 'all actions to recover the production apparatus, which is being paralyzed by the bourgeoisie.'
Empresas Polar has shut down beer production completely as of last month, saying government mismanagement meant it was no longer able to import barley.
Maduro accuses Polar and others of trying to destabilize the financially stricken country by exacerbating shortages of goods from foodstuffs to medicines to toilet paper.
Empresas Polar's four breweries normally supply 80 per cent of the domestic beer consumed in Venezuela.
The company's owner, billionaire businessman Lorenzo Mendoza, is a vocal opponent of Mr Maduro, and the president has accused him of being part of an "economic war" on his government along with US business interests.
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