Lawmakers act to support Venezuelans

As one legislator put it, Costa Rica can no longer keep silent on Venezuela without being accomplices to the drama in which citizens there live.

So with the approval of 24 lawmakers, the legislature passed resolution of solidarity with the Venezuelan people and their efforts to achieve peace and seek solutions to the crises in government through peaceful and legal means with respect to human and political rights, democracy and the constitutional order.

The resolution will be sent to the Venezuelan legislature, which is dominated by opponents of President Nicolás Maduro. The president is trying to shut down the legislature and sidestep a recall petition.

Meanwhile, the economy is so bad that the Mexican firm of Fomento Económico Mexicano, S.A.B. de C.V., doing business as FEMSA, said it would stop producing.

Lawmaker Gerardo Vargas Rojas said that he and colleagues were in Venezuela Dec. 6 and saw the suffering of the people there. He cited lack of goods and hunger.

In part due to the low price of petroleum but also due to decades of mismanagement, the Venezuelan economy is in deep distress.

Citizen have been marching in the street in an effort to advance the call for a recall referendum.

The Mexican soft drink firm said Monday that its Venezuelan subsidiary will stop producing Coca Cola due to a lack of sugar.

“Sugar suppliers in Venezuela have informed us that they will temporarily cease operations due to a lack of raw materials,” Coca-Cola Co. spokeswoman Kerry Tressler said.

Production of Diet Coke, Coke Zero, and other sugarless beverages will continue in Venezuela, the company added.

Rising production costs, price controls, and limited access to necessary fertilizers has lead to a recent decline in sugar cane production in Venezuela. The effects of food shortages are being felt across the country amid its recession. A barley shortage has already forced the country’s biggest brewer, Empresas Polar, to close its plants.

The economic crisis culminated last week, with Maduro announcing a 60-day state of emergency.

The International Monetary Fund predicts that inflation in Venezuela, which is already the world’s highest, could more than double in 2016, topping out at more than 720 percent.

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