December 30, 2017 6:22 pm

Colombia ships 55 tons of ham to Venezuela amid shortage of holiday staple

Customers ask for the price of a typical Venezuelan Christmas staple known as "Pan de Jamon" or ham bread, at a Christmas fair in Caracas, Venezuela, Dec. 22, 2017.

AP Photo/Fernando Llano

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

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

Story continues below

On Saturday, 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.

READ MORE: Canada expels Venezuelan ambassador in diplomatic tit-for-tat

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 subsidized food program.

WATCH: Canada ‘deplores’ Venezuela regime, discusses recent sanctions

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 percent in 2018.

© 2017 Agence France-Presse

Report an error


Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.