By Samuel Morales Escuela.
Cargill, a legendary US company with more than three decades operating in Venezuela, informed that it sold its operations in Venezuela to the Phoenix Global Investment Fund and the local Puig group. The company no explains the financial details of the operation, which took place Tuesday, November 10. This sale would cover all activities of Cargill in the country, including the pasta, wheat flour, oil, and animal feed plants, the company said.
Thousands of Venezuelan firms have had a quiet death in the 21 years of the Chavista government due to hyperinflation, devaluations, and aggressive socialist regulation. Other high-profile foreign firms, from Louis Vuitton to Kelloggs, have also left in some cases only a few years after making Venezuelan landfall attracted by the high oil prices of the first years of Chavismo, which held up until 2012.
Remarkably, the 600-plus state-owned firms created during the same period not only have failed to fill the void but, instead, they are now, according to NGO Transparency International, mostly bankrupt.
Cargill joins a long list of companies that have left Venezuela in years of the Bolivarian revolution. The expropriation policies, initially promoted by the government of the late Hugo Chavez, plus the political crisis in which the country gets submerged, accentuated during the mandate of Nicolas Maduro, has driven the bankruptcy or exit of multiple brands. The majority of the high profile companies that have exited Venezuela over the last ten years are US firms, including iconic brands such as Mattel and General Motors.
The nationalization, expropriation, and, in general, harassment campaign against US firm has got described as larger even than the one carried out by Fidel Castro in Cuba after the 1959 revolution.
El Pitazo summarizes a list of 22 companies that left Venezuela before Cargill:
Louis Vuitton (2010)
Air Canada (2014)
Bridgestone Americas (2016)
General Mills (2016)
United Airlines (2017)
General Motors (2017)
Good Year (2018)
Additional reporting by Carlos Camacho.