Friday, April 04, 2008

Hugo strikes again.

Yesterday, an apparently well-hydrated Hugo Chavez announced that Venezuela will be nationalizing the cement industry. The affected foreign companies are Mexican (Cemex), French, and Swiss.

He is making good on his vow made last year:

Prior to Thursday's announcement, Chavez had repeatedly expressed frustration with the high cost of construction materials and threatened to seize control of companies that fail to provide low-cost cement for the domestic market.

Last year, he said many of Venezuela's cement factories prefer to sell their product abroad at higher prices and warned: "If the cement factories do not (sell in Venezuela), we will occupy them."

Can cement companies price discriminate? Or is the price of cement held below the market price in Venezuela? Have any of you ever heard of a country nationalizing cement before, or is this another historic first for the Bolivarian Revolution?


Anonymous said...

Quick search on scholar google suggests it is not a first.
Rather a common event in the early postwar period of mixed ownership economies and import substitution industrialization. Not to mention Cuba...Commanding Heights and all.

Anonymous said...

Sure would be justice to see those companies blow up their factories, right at the moment Chavez signs the seizure declaration.

Shawn said...

...or have their product seized by a norwegian pirate.