Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has placed the country's five largest ports under military control, to ensure better distribution of food.
The news was announced by the president during a live televised speech after a meeting with the country's defense minister.
The measure is one of several which have given the military more power during the economic and political crisis in the country.
According to Maduro, small ports will also be controlled by the military to get rid of corruption and mismanagement of the important main routes for food imports. In this way the government wants to ensure a smoother distribution of food.
After growing food shortages this year, Maduro has already transferred a greater share of responsibility for distribution of food to the military and pro-government community associations.
The economic crisis in Venezuela, which is partly due to declining oil revenues, has led to sharp inflation, shortages, riots and looting of supermarkets. The president blames the crisis on conspiracies by the right, while the opposition calls for a referendum to depose of the president.
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