Colombia ships 50 tonnes of holiday ham to Venezuela

Three Jambons de Bayonne (Bayonne Ham) are pictured on the opening day of the 555th Bayonne Ham Fair on April 13, 2017 in Bayonne, southwestern France. — AFP pic
Three Jambons de Bayonne (Bayonne Ham) are pictured on the opening day of the 555th Bayonne Ham Fair on April 13, 2017 in Bayonne, southwestern France. — AFP pic

COLOMBIA, Dec 31 — Colombia has shipped around 50 tonnes (55 tonnes) of ham to Venezuela after protests broke out over shortages of the traditional holiday staple, an official said yesterday.

The first two trucks of ham arrived in Venezuela on Friday night, a source from Colombia’s national tax and customs office told AFP.

Yesterday, there were “two other trucks ready to go,” but awaiting final procedural approval, the source added, without specifying the amount of ham in that shipment.

The transport ministry said it had issued a firm a “special permit” to transport the ham to Barinas, western Venezuela.

Hundreds of Venezuelans took to the streets this week to protest that they had not received ham promised by the government as part of a subsidised food programme.

President Nicolas Maduro blamed the lack of ham on an “international sabotage” orchestrated by Portugal.

Venezuelans are suffering severe shortages of food and medicine, as well as inflation which the IMF forecasts will exceed 2,300 per cent in 2018. — AFP

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