Venezuela Chocolate Entrepreneurs

December 4, 2012 - 4:33 PM
In this photo taken Nov 15, 2012, scientist Francisco Betancourt points to a high quality selection of cacao beans at a cacao plantation in Cano Rico, Venezuela. Cacao pods that ripen in the forest-shaded plantations of Venezuela are transformed into some of the world's finest chocolate. The crop is converted into gourmet bars and exported to the United States, Europe and Japan by the country's premier chocolate maker, Chocolates El Rey, or The King. As the company has won international acclaim, it has also had to cope with a host of obstacles brought on by President Hugo Chavez's government. El Rey used to go through just four bureaucratic steps to export a shipment. Now the list of requirements has grown to more than 50. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)