Venezuela's meat imports from Uruguay up 21.5%
Food exports from Uruguay to Venezuela surged 42.9% over a year
Venezuela's overall food imports from Uruguay totaled USD 365 million in January October, compared to USD 255 million in the same period in 2011.
Food imports from Uruguay focused mainly on fresh beef, which rose by 21.5% over the last 12 months, from USD 249 million in January-October 2011 to USD 311 million in the same period in 2012.
According to figures on foreign trade issued by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), Venezuela's meat imports from Uruguay increased by more than 3,000% from May 2006 through 2012.
On Wednesday, Venezuela's Minister of Agriculture and Lands Juan Carlos Loyo asserted that domestic production met 70% of domestic meat demand, according to industrial slaughterhouses.
Nevertheless, representatives of the cattle-raising sector claimed that meat imports meet 52% of local demand.
They are marching in step to the same tune. There is a coordinated effort to position the idea. The Twitter hashtag #YoSoyVictimaDeLaGuarimba (I'm a victim of "guarimbas", or protest barricades) can be read on all pro-government Twitter accounts, including those of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), the National Assembly's Press Office, the state-run food distribution network PDVAL, state airline Conviasa, the Venezuelan embassies in foreign countries, radio stations and the huge media network responsive to the Government's interests and messages.