Chávez admits deficiencies in Venezuelan-Iranian auto plant
The Venezuelan president said that plans have been assessed to prevent the shutdown of the assembly plant
Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez acknowledged that the Venezuelan-Iranian auto plant Venirauto has serious deficiencies. "We were assessing what we can do to prevent the shutdown of the company, but production was affected last year by problems with the supply of parts," he said at the 11th summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA).
According to Chávez, the primary reason for the poor performance of the company was a trade blockade against Iran. "We have had some problems because of the blockade against Iran. Now that we have an Iranian-Venezuelan factory, (we have realized that) is difficult to import spare parts, and even to pay the share of the parent company with US dollars," AP reported.
Chávez's statement stands in contrast with announcements made by Ministry of Industry officials and executives of the automaker. For instance, Víctor Mariño, Venirauto's general manager, said that the company has assembled 3,773 cars in 2011.
In the latest attempt to plug the leaks to smuggling, Venezuela began nightly closures between 10 pm and 6 am of its official border crossings along the Colombian border.