So how does Chavez react to the news? He nationalizes the two biggest coffee producers. They are going to investigate for three months to see if these coffee producers have "any irregularities" and could face nationalisation if these were proved.
"If at the end of the audit, we can show there has been smuggling, hoarding, disloyal and monopolistic practices, we could consider nationalising the companies," he said. The companies had said they would be forced to close because they were running low on supplies of coffee to be processed. Earlier this year, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez ordered the expropriation of a rice mill, owned by a subsidiary of US food giant Cargill, accusing the company of not distributing rice at government-set prices.
Of course, there are those that say But the Government Really Does Know Best. Chavists like Mark Weisbrot that support socialism with phony research. According to Weisbrot, Hugo Chavez is a miracle worker. Really? Then why are even the coffee beans trying to escape Venezuela?
Even as we speak freely about it today here in the US, Chavez is shutting down media critical of his actions as quickly as he can. This weekend, Chavez supporters stormed the last remaining TV station willing to air criticism of Chavez.
The raid came amid a government crackdown on critics of Chavez's socialist revolution, a campaign which human rights groups have condemned as an attack on free speech. In recent days the government has revoked the licences of dozens of radio stations and proposed a law which would jail people deemed guilty of "media crimes" for up to four years.The intruders, led by a prominent "Chavista" named Lina Ron, waved banners and reportedly injured a guard and a police officer while tear gas seeped through the complex.When you read something like that from a liberal platform like The Guardian, well you know Chavez is out there.
Chavez has repeatedly assailed Globovision – the South American country's last opposition TV network – as an instrument of oligarchs and US imperialists who are waging "media terrorism".
Where does President Obama stand on all this? What is his position on Chavez interference with the economy and nationalization of industry after industry? He defends Venezuelan positions. At the same time, Chavez calls President Obama "ignorant". Perhaps one of them is right.
(H/T Calafia Beach Pundit)