Milk producers across economic-crisis gripped Uruguay have blockaded several national routes, demanding answers to the nonpayment of the Venezuelan government to whom they sold the products.
In total, there were 10 roadblocks in 9 of the 19 departments of the country.
Venezuela has not come through with their payments to the companies primarily in the dairy sector, and other agricultural areas. The products were sold in the framework of a bilateral agreement signed by the government of Tabare Vazquez with his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro, who revealed making the payments now are “difficult to meet” due to Venezuela’s own internal crisis.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Venezuela holds an inflation rate of 720%, after surpasing world records at 250% last year. 9.1% is projected for Uruguay – the 4th highest inflation rate in Latin America.
Venezuela’s debt with Uruguay – which directly affects dairy farmers as much of the volume of sales to that country constitute as cheese and milk powder – is a fortune.
It is estimated that the Caribean country owes aproximately $ 100 million to the dairy sector. Conaprole (the largest company in the industry in Uruguay) alone still awaits U$S86 million in goods already delivered and consumed across the continent.
Last week, President Maduro proposed a meeting of his National Council for Productive Economy. There, Venezuelan officials and businessmen were planning to address the serious problems of the economy, for which the government has declared a state of economic emergency.
“Today we will activate the National Council of productive economy with all sectors who want to work and overcome this difficult situation,” wrote President Nicolas Maduro, via his Twitter account, @NicolasMaduro.