A group of factory workers at the recently deserted Kellogg factory in Venezuela celebrated the production of bags of Corn Flakes on Thursday after the socialist regime seized the plant.
The footage, published Thursday by the Venezuelan state propaganda network VTV, shows Aragua state Gov. Rodolfo Marco Torres explaining aspects of the production process to another man wearing a Kellogg’s polo shirt as the first bags of Corn Flakes begin to roll out, sparking celebrations from the factory staff.
“Here comes the first one. Let’s go,” Torres declares. “Long live the fatherland!”
— VTV CANAL 8 (@VTVcanal8) May 17, 2018
The show comes after local officials pledged to reactivate the plant under government control, following the announcement on Tuesday that Kellogg would cease operations because of the country’s economic crisis.
“The current economic and social deterioration in the country has now prompted the company to discontinue operations,” the company said in a statement.
Venezuelan authorities immediately decried the move. Socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro claimed a company’s choosing to no longer do business in Venezuela was “unconstitutional.”
“We’ve begun judicial proceedings against the business leaders of Kellogg’s because their exit is unconstitutional,” Maduro said after the announcement. “I’ve taken the decision to deliver the company to the workers in order that they can continue producing for the people.”
“With no notification, this U.S.-based multinational decided to close its doors, leaving 570 workers hanging,” added Torres. “Yet, we’re here – in less than 24 hours.”
There remain serious questions about the legality of the government’s operating of the factory. Kellogg is threatening to pursue legal action should its products be sold under its name. In the video, several workers can be seen wearing Kellogg’s cereal branded clothing.
“Kellogg is not responsible for the unauthorized use of the commercial names and brands that are the property of the company and will exercise legal actions available as necessary,” the company said, adding that it would like to return to Venezuela in the future.
The announcement casts a further shadow over the dismal state of the Venezuelan economy, with millions of people across the country now living in abject poverty due to dizzying rates of inflation and lack of access to food and living products.
Venezuela’s economic woes are a result of its socialist state-run economy, causing countless companies and producers to shut down or leave the country. As a result, many products, from food to living essentials, are now unavailable or too expensive for most people to afford.