Like a true Autocrat/Dictator, President Hugo Chavez threatened to nationalize corner stores, supermarkets and butcher shops if they do not comply with regulations or supplying products even if at a loss. Of course, we no longer see the little blue book being waved in his hand as that book, curiously called the Constitution, which guarantees economic freedom. Of course, it is all the fault of Chavez’ policies which will eventually lead to more shortages and not fewer. Thus, the economic lessons of IVth. Century A.D. (Year 301) have not been learned by XXIst Century Socialism. In fact, Diocletian prices controls did not threaten with expropriation, but with the death penalty. And they failed anyway, so imagine what may happen with a third rate Autocrat/Dictator who when confronted seems to be afraid of his own shadow.
All that this shows is the lack of respect Chavze ahs for his own people. How he does not want to yield in teh face of his own mistakes, always blaming others for his misguided policies and refusing to face the reality of the failure of his policies, set by his Minister of Planning Jorge Giordani, a mediocre planner with little economic experience.
With threats like this, all Chavez faces is more shortages. If he keeps importing at subsidized prices, with no custom duties and in a not-for profit organization like Mercal, local producers will not only refuse to even attempt to compete, ut will withdraw from production in the face of his threats. And that in the end, will lead to even more shortages, the worst form of inflation a country can face.