First he expropriated the oil company holdings. Then the oilfield equipment. When he grabbed Cargill's rice plant you could have taken a history of the Soviet Union, substituted the name Venezuela and figured out how Hugo's efforts would play out.
First up, the Financial Times' Money-Supply blog:
No relationship other than that they both reported February consumer prices today and in both cases, government price controls affected inflation.
Inflation in Venezuela subsided in February, falling to 1.6 per cent, its lowest level in 11 months. That is, of course, the monthly rise, annualised inflation rose some 24.7 per cent. The lower price increases were due to smaller increases in the cost of food, communication, education and alcohol and tobacco.
The slowing pace of price increases come the month after Venezuela devalued its currency, suggesting that the price controls put in place by the Chávez administration on some essentials are working.
In Mexico, prices continued to creep upward, rising 0.58 per cent in February, or 4.83 per cent on an annualised basis. An increase in the cost of fruits and vegetables contributed to the rise, as did a loosening of government price controls in some goods and services....MORE
President Hugo Chavez is confident that God and nature will pull Venezuela out of a power crisis battering both the economy and his popularity
Rationing and blackouts have afflicted the South American oil exporter since late 2009, due mainly to a drought that has cut water levels at hydroelectric installations normally supplying more than two-thirds of power needs.
The crisis may cause a second year of economic contraction in Venezuela and is also weighing on Chavez's approval ratings ahead of a legislative election in September that he and opponents are casting as a referendum on his rule.
"The squalid ones are hoping it won't rain," Chavez said late on Tuesday, using his usual term for the opposition.
"But it's going to rain, you'll see, because God is a 'Bolivarian.'>>>MORE
Hugo is an autodidactic polymath:
Previously, Hugo on baseball (apparently a Sox fan):
"Go to hell, shit Yankees, we are a dignified people, go to hell a hundred times," Chavez shouted at a political rally to thousands of roaring supporters dressed in red...On the U.S. Executive branch:
Chavez: "Obama vaya a lavarse ese palto"
Obama, go wipe your ass.
Big plans...His announced visit to Africa in September follows the recent decision by Venezuela to create its own "Halliburton-style company" to manage every aspect of its own oil production and expand capabilities for operations abroad.Inconvenient truth...Last month Luis Vierma, exploration and production vice president at PDVSA, said Venezuelan oil faces a "significant operational emergency" if it does not increase the number of rigs operating in the country and that the state firm fell short of its 2007 goal of getting 191 rigs online in 2007 and producing some 3.3 million barrels per day...