GLOBAL ECONOMY

Venezuela's famed chocolate struggling amid economic woes
Venezuela's fine cacao, the raw ingredient for chocolate, is among the most sought-after in the world.
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In this April 16, 2015 photo, cacao beans are stored at the Agropampatar chocolate farm Co-op in El Clavo, Venezuela. Venezuelas fine cacao, the raw ingredient for chocolate, is among the most sought-after in the world. Yet sellers cant get the crop to those who want it. This winter the government canceled export permits and the beans are still sitting in burlap sacks on the same land where they were harvested with machetes and spread in the sun with wooden rakes. Workers say some of it is starting to go bad. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

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In this April 16, 2015 photo, cacao beans dry under sun at the Agropampatar chocolate farm Co-op in El Clavo, Venezuela. Today the country exports just 8,000 tons of cacao a year, for revenue of about $30 million, slightly less than it earns from exporting another signature product, rum. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

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In this April 16, 2015 photo, a cacao pod hangs from a tree at the Agropampatar chocolate farm Co-op in El Clavo, Venezuela. While many growers complain that exports are over-regulated, others say the government has been slow to protect the crops reputation. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

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In this April 16, 2015 photo, bees feed on the pulp of fresh cacao beans, before the beans are sun-dried at the Agropampatar chocolate farm Co-op in El Clavo, Venezuela. Since the government's revocation of exports licenses this winter exporters have not been able to make shipments since January, and have 5,000 tons of cacao sitting in warehouses. Some smaller exporters had their licenses reinstated quickly, but larger firms remain shut down. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

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In this April 16, 2015 photo, farmers deliver a sack of dry cacao beans to the Agropampatar chocolate farm Co-op in El Clavo, Venezuela. Venezuelas fine cacao, the raw ingredient for chocolate, is among the most sought-after in the world. The government itself sees great promise in what is now a niche industry. In 2011, the late President Hugo Chavez called cacao a strategic commodity, like oil, and pledged to convert the country into a world cacao power. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

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Venezuela's famed chocolate struggling amid economic woes

Venezuela's fine cacao, the raw ingredient for chocolate, is among the most sought-after in the world.

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