Hurricane Chavez -- the nastiest Category 5 storm you'll ever encounter -- is once again driving up supply risk in the Americas through making good on his promises to nationalize property in Venezuela. This time around, Chavez's troops seized "500 tonnes of food from" from one Venezuela's largest food company in an attempt "to stem food shortages." Across Venezuela, a country flush with oil money, food shortages have been the norm, not the exception, thanks to strict price controls and the region's highest inflation level. Of course it does not help matters that the captain at the controls of this out of control ship is a violent Marxist through and through. In Chavez's world, there's no room for the free market. Consider his recent statement at a new socialist food market: "Anyone who is distributing food ... and is speculating, we must intervene and we must expropriate (the business) and put it in the hands of the state and the communities." Words like this should be enough to scare any business away from having any involvement with Venezuelan suppliers -- and other suppliers based in Latin American countries that support Chavez -- until a regime change occurs.
- Jason Busch