Bread strike has soldiers turned bakers in Bolivia

Bolivia Baker Strike

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Bolivia’s government has temporarily turned some soldiers into bakers, ordering barracks to leaven loaves for the public after bakeries went on strike over the lifting of subsidies on imported flour.

Soldiers donned aprons in barracks in La Paz, El Alto and other cities as Defense Minister Reymi Fereira declared an emergency.

A strike that began at La Paz bakeries on Monday spread nationwide Tuesday but bread lines generally disappeared around midday.

Government officials have said they lifted the subsidies, which nearly halved the cost of a sack of flour, because of an abundance of cheap Argentine flour.

Bolivia has increased domestic wheat production in recent years, but imported flour remains cheaper.

President Evo Morales briefly removed subsidies on gasoline in December 2010. He restored them after huge protests by Bolivians.

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