An employee of the Minka state-run bakery carries bags of bread to be distributed to state-run grocery stores in Caracas, Venezuela.
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Venezuela's socialist leaders seize bakeries in 'bread war'For the past 25 years, after he immigrated penniless to Venezuela from Portugal, Eduardo Dos Santos has personally taken care of the clients at Mansion's Bakery. The government said it was taking over the shop for 90 days, turning control over to a pro-government neighborhood committee given the task of distributing bags of staples door-to-door.The only thing missing was the bread, at least when the Associated Press visited the newly renamed "Minka" bakery Friday afternoon, when the day's supply had already run out.While a loaf of "canilla" sells for 250 bolivars – about 28 cents at the lowest official rate and less than a dime on the black market – unregulated specialty products can fetch 10 times that amount.To boost food supplies, Vice President Tareck al-Aissami last week ordered the nation's bakeries to use 90 percent of their flour to produce canilla and French bread. He also ordered every bakery to have bread available for sale by 7 a.m. Owners who refuse will suffer a similar fate to Mansion's, he said.
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