Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hugo Chavez channels his inner Obama

Are Hugo and Barack comparing notes?

Link
CARACAS -- President Hugo Chavez ordered Sunday the seizure of a French-owned retail chain on accusations that it raised prices after Venezuela devalued the currency by half.

"Until when are we going to allow this to happen?" Mr. Chavez asked during his Sunday television program in reference to the alleged price increase by Almacenes Exito, headquartered in Colombia and controlled by French retailer Casino Guichard-Perrachon S.A.

The Venezuelan leader said that a new law could be needed to carry out the nationalization. "I'm waiting for the new law to begin the expropriation process," he said. "There's no going back," he added.

Almacenes Exito saw some of its stores closed this week by government authorities on accusations that it was increasing prices regardless of Mr. Chavez's threats to retailers to freeze prices after he devalued the currency to 4.3 bolivars per dollar from the previous rate of 2.15 bolivars.