Famous Venezuelan ice-cream store closes over milk shortage

By Reuters

Dec 29, 2014 10:40 AM EST

An ice-cream store listed in the Guinness World Records book for its 863 different flavours has become the latest victim of Venezuela's economic crisis.

"We are closed during the season due to shortage of milk," the famous Coromoto ice-cream store in the highland town of Merida announced on its Facebook page.

Locals confirmed that the shop, hugely popular among tourists for its exotic and strange flavours ranging from beer to beans, had been closed since Christmas Eve. 

A sign on the door asked customers' forgiveness "for not attending you due to the lack of milk."

Venezuelans have been suffering acute shortages of basic goods, from toilet-paper to spare tires, all year due to an economic slowdown, the highest inflation in the Americas, and the impact of strict currency controls.

President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government says foes in Venezuela's opposition and wealthy elite are exacerbating economic problems by hoarding and price-gouging in what he terms an "economic war" against him.

The shortages have annoyed Venezuelans across the political spectrum and contributed to a fall in Maduro's popularity, with one prominent local pollster putting him on 24 percent approval - less than half when he was elected last year.

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