When I bring up the subject of Hugo Chavez to many of my friends who know little about global politics, many refuse to believe that he will follow in steps of Castro and the Soviets by nationalizing businesses and personal property interests. Like Holocaust deniers who do not to accept what are undeniable historical facts, they stubbornly refuse to believe that the individual activities of Chavez's economic meddling are part of a grand, dangerous and evil scheme. But for those who have not connected the dots yet, even more proof came out last week of Chavez's ambitions.
According to an international news source, "President Hugo Chavez threatened to nationalize any privately owned supermarkets and food storage facilities caught hoarding inventories or violating price controls imposed on basic goods … Accusing private companies of hoarding foods such as beef, Chavez warned supermarket owners and distributors that he would nationalize their facilities as soon as they gave him "an excuse" to seize such assets." In my view, it would behoove any procurement and operations organizations with either supply or manufacturing interests in Venezuela -- or other countries like Bolivia who appear to be following Chavez's stride -- to quickly develop alternative strategies.