Economy & Business - October 2021

VENEZUELA: Monómeros failings ignite opposition dispute over foreign assets

It was a Chavista flag planted on Colombian soil. Yet, on 23 September, the struggling Venezuelan state fertiliser producer Monómeros Colombo Venezolanos – based in the Colombian city of Barranquilla (Atlántico department) and under the control of opposition leader Juan Guiadó since Colombia recognised him as Venezuela’s legitimate president in 2019 – filed for bankruptcy. The petition completes a torrid month for Monómeros in which its chair Carmen Elisa Hernández resigned after Colombia’s business regulator (SSC) brought the cash-strapped enterprise under “maximum supervision” on 6 September in order to safeguard 1,600 jobs and food security. As part of the process, the company must present a restructuring plan to the SSC within three months. It is hoped that the parties can thrash out a deal that will enable the continued operation of Monómeros, a major player in Colombia’s agricultural supply chains and the provider of around 40% of its fertilisers.

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