No more nationalizations in Venezuela…unless the revolution changes its mind

August 26, 2008

Wow! It
was only last Friday that Minister of Finance Ali Rodriguez said, with that
voice of his which is moderate and low, far from being strident or radical:
“The government doesn’t have any plans to nationalize more companies”.

If you believed it, you
probably just forgot that this is a revolution with random thoughts and no

Because it only took like
24 hours before the Venezuelan National Assembly showed that one hand of the
Government has no clue as to what the other is doing, when they announced the
passing of a Bill in the next few days to nationalize the distribution of
gasoline in the country. The Bill calls for the nationalization of the
wholesale distribution and transportation of gasoline and the transfer of all
gas stations under concession to communal councils. Thus, it seems as if both
wholesale and retail will be nationalized.

The law establishes a
period of sixty days for those affected to negotiate with the Government. You
know what that means, you have sixty days to accept what the Government offers
you or else. Because most of those 60 day terms have been used by the
Venezuelan Government to confiscate private property from its position of
strength. You can fight, but in the absence of an independent legal system, you
have little recourse but to accept the offer and leave.

And it will be interesting
to see what use these untested communal councils give to both the gas stations
and the proceeds from its sale. If it is anything like the confiscation of rice
last week from a private supermarket, then we know that a new and imaginative
source of corruption for the robolution has just been invented.

What else is new?

Or maybe the right
question is: Who will be next?

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