World

Venezuela President Maduro order review of Heinz, threatens to jail executives

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro gestures to supporters from the top of a car after the inauguration of cable car public transportation system, in the popular neighborhood of Petare, in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015. As the country heads to congressional elections on Sunday, the opposition might gain control of the National Assembly for the first time since 1998, and serve the socialist party founded by late President Hugo Chavez its first ever loss in a nationwide contest for public office. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro gestures to supporters from the top of a car after the inauguration of cable car public transportation system, in the popular neighborhood of Petare, in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015. As the country heads to congressional elections on Sunday, the opposition might gain control of the National Assembly for the first time since 1998, and serve the socialist party founded by late President Hugo Chavez its first ever loss in a nationwide contest for public office. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)  (The Associated Press)

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro is threatening to jail local managers of Kraft Heinz for economic sabotage.

Maduro said late Tuesday that the U.S.-based company was purposefully trying to sow discontent by paralyzing production lines. He said the country's intelligence police would not hesitate to arrest executives.

The South American country has been grappling with severe shortages for years.

Maduro's ruling socialist party faces its stiffest electoral challenge in more than a decade on Sunday. The socialists are expected to lose control of the National Assembly.

Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez made it a habit to single out foreign corporations for criticism, including McDonald's, Clorox Co. and Hilton Worldwide.

Heinz did not immediately respond to a request for comment.