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CLAPs Are a "Franchise" and They Already Have an Owner

An unknown company called Salva Foods 2015 —created months before Nicolás Maduro put out his idea of establishing a network of stores for the state program of the Local Supply and Production Committees (CLAP)—is the current beneficiary of that business. They are called CLAP Stores and are mistaken for a state-owned company, with food outlets where there were once the premises of Abastos Bicentenarios (state-owned supermarkets). Behind that operation, the shadow of Colombian entrepreneurs Alex Nain Saab Morán and Álvaro Pulido Vargas reappears, both linked since early 2017 to the CLAPs due to a dummy company registered in Hong Kong.

05/08/2018 12:10:35

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Upon entering, the deception is confirmed. The color green replaces the revolutionary red and, despite the name, it is not a public company. The high prices and the scarce variety replicate the scene of any supermarket in a Venezuela submerged in hyperinflation and shortages. But it is not any supermarket or any chavista government premises. Behind the so-called CLAP Stores, the supply network for the state program of the Local Supply and Production Committees (CLAP), the shadow of Colombian entrepreneurs Alex Nain Saab Morán and Álvaro Enrique Pulido Vargas, who are among the largest private food importers for government programs, reappears.

Through an unknown company called Salva Foods 2015, they control what looks like a franchise of the state plan to "privatize" public food retail chains, like Abastos Bicentenario, partly built on the frame of the business in Venezuela known as Alamacenes Éxito. Salva Foods joins the dummy company Group Grand Limited, registered in Hong Kong, whereby the entrepreneurial duo became a supplier of millions of CLAP boxes since early 2017, thanks to two contracts signed with the Government of Nicolás Maduro, and is also a supplier of medicines from India because of another contract signed with the Ministry of Health.