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Venezuela: Who runs the show Hugo Chavez or the mining cos?

By Aleksander Boyd

London 02.10.05 | It is indeed fascinating to see the state of denial of some. Only on Monday silos belonging to the Polar group of enterprises -biggest employer, largest tax payer, largest food producing conglomerate of Venezuela- were illegaly expropiated by the Chavez regime. This was by no means an isolated case of regime's lawlessness.

England's Vestey Group has lost two large cattle rearing farms, Hato Piñero, once a model of a bioreserve, has also being confiscated and invaded by the army and chavista goons, La Marqueseña, CVV, Heinz... The expropriation spree is nothing new. Furthermore none other than Chavez's father, a governor of Barinas state having no jurisdiction over matters of such nature, issued a decree expropiating the whole Polar silos, without any compensation that is.

If, in the face of factual evidence, clueless foreign investors still think that they'll get a return on monies put in Venezuela they are simply stupid. Mind you if Chavez does not respect the largest conglomerate of Venezuela, which produces much of the food his supporters eat, what chances are there that he won't wake up tomorrow, as he has already stated re Crystallex's Las Cristinas, saying "They go around the world saying they have this much in gold reserves, but they are never going to exploit it." (sic)?

A good piece of advice here, stop reading the nonsense of foreign companies CEO's arguing that Venezuela's Minister of Mines gave assurances that everything's all right, for their words aren't even worth the paper they are printed on. As far as executive decisions, bargaining power, respect for contracts or private property in Venezuela are concerned everyone's at the mercy of the whimsical desires of a neocommunist gullible thug. Before plunging into 'fantastic investments chances' in Chavez's Venezuela savvy investors should be well adviced in having a word with Lord Vestey or Shell's legal department. To conclude congratulations to David DesLauriers for having called it like it is.

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