Venezuelan authorities said they were handing a Kellogg Co plant to workers and reactivating production at the factory on Wednesday, a day after the USA cereal producer pulled out of the crisis-hit country.
Some 300 workers employed at the plant showed up to work to find a notice informing them of the closure.
The Battle Creek, Michigan-based company had already changed the way it counted results from that operation at the end of 2016.
Millions in Venezuela have been suffering food and medicine shortages amid hyperinflation, with, as Reuters reports, Maduro "blaming the crisis on an "economic war" that he says is being waged by Washington, greedy businessmen and coup-mongers". They include Bridgestone, Clorox, Coca-Cola, Colgate, Kimberly-Clark, General Mills, General Motors and Harvest Natural Resources.
"Why are they doing it today?" "We are four days away from elections and they think it will spook the people", he said at a campaign rally. "Imperialists! Oligarchs! Nobody can scare our people". "It will continue to operate in the hands of the working class".
The government has seized the operations of other multinationals that have left the country.
In family breakfast cereals, Kellogg's Corn Flakes also held the leading position in 2017 with a 46% value share.
The company responded to the move with a threat of legal action should their products be sold under their name. All its contractual obligations have been settled with employees, suppliers and customers, the company said, while the license agreement for the use of its brands and characters in Venezuela has been terminated. Kellogg's breakfast products are the most popular and widely available in the country.
Dizzying rates of inflation, now at almost 14,000 percent, have rendered the country's currency practically worthless and mean that most Venezuelans can no longer afford branded products such as Kellogg's cereal. You can sign up to receive it directly here.