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News > Venezuela

Venezuelan Bakery Keeping Promise to Cut Long Bread Lines

  • La Minka workers transfer loaves of bread to bags, which will be sent to small communities for sale.

    La Minka workers transfer loaves of bread to bags, which will be sent to small communities for sale. | Photo: Reagan Des Vignes/Telesur

Published 30 March 2017

"The bakery now sells approximately 6,000 loaves of bread daily," says bakery employee, Miguel Suarez

Six thousand loaves of fresh bread are now being sold on weekdays at the La Minka bakery in Caracas. This is according to workers of the bakery, which was appropriated by the Bolivarian government just over a week ago. The former owners of the establishment have been accused of breaking food production laws.

RELATED: Venezuelan Opposition Attacks Black-Led, Pro-Revolution Bakery

"The situation is much better now," says Rosemely Rosa, an actress who took part in a re-enactment of a recent attack on the bakery by right-wing conspirators. Rosa described the bakery, previously named the Mansion's Bakery, as one that had hoarded government-subsidized flour and had baked only high-end pastries and cakes, contributing to the bread shortage in the community.

Actors, from the Colectivos Artisticos Revolucionarios, perform a scene describing the Mansion's Bakery: expensive cakes and sweets on the outside, but inside, flour was being hoarded and bread scarcely produced. | Photo: Reagan Des Vignes/Telesur

Rosa's passion is evident as she and her group describe the crisis of food shortages in Venezuela. However, since the change in ownership, production at the bakery has changed considerably: 90 percent of production now focuses on bread, the other 10 percent on sweets. The bread is then distributed by the Local Committees of Supply and Production, or CLAP, and sold at subsidized prices.

"We cannot continue to get up at 3am or 4am to line up to buy bread. We must win this economic fight," said Rosemely Rosa. | Photo: Reagan Des Vignes/Telesur

Authorities said the previous owners had committed several infractions: an unsanitary work site; labor exploitation; hoarding of sacks of flour and the possession of overdue products. Additionally, the bakery had been receiving subsidized flour, 90 percent to be allocated to the production of salted bread and 10 percent for sweet bread: a quota that was not being met.

Information from the state-run radio station, Alba Ciudad, reported that previous owners would use five sacks of flour daily, with only two sacks used for baking bread.

The cultural movement responsible for managing the bakery has received the support of the community. They have also received the support and participation of bakers outside the community, who have shown their willingness to work in solidarity, to ensure that daily operations are maintained and consolidated.

The local publication, the National, reported that the appropriation will expire in just under 90 days.

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