Venezuela struggles with sporadic food shortages

AP News
Posted: Jan 14, 2013 3:34 PM

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela's government has launched a crackdown on businesses accused of causing shortages by hoarding food and selling products at inflated prices.

Consumers often struggle to find staples such as milk, chicken, cooking oil, sugar and coffee as well as products such as toilet paper and some medicines.

Business leaders blame the shortages on government-imposed price controls and limited access of U.S. dollars needed to import goods. But the government says unscrupulous businesses are creating the shortages.

Jorge Roig is a representative of Venezuela's largest business chamber. He urged government officials on Monday to ease currency controls limiting the amount of U.S. dollars available to importers.