Wednesday, August 20, 2008

El Lobo A La Puerta

It's not just US and European companies in Venezuela that are being devoured by Chavez's predatory state. There is a piece in today's WSJ on Cemex's fight against Venezuela's nationalization effort (sub req):

Hundreds of Venezuelan oil workers descended on cement factories around the country late Monday night after Mexico's Cemex SAB rejected a government bid and remained the lone holdout in Venezuela's latest wave of nationalizations.

Cemex, the world's third-largest cement maker, rejected a bid of $500 million for the company's Venezuelan assets, which the company said it valued at $1.4 billion to $1.8 billion, people close to the negotiations said. Venezuelan Vice President Ramón Carrizales said the assets were worth around $800 million.

You gotta love the brazenness. The VP comes right out and admits they're not going to pay a fair price. But why worry about such niceties at all when force is an option.

At Cemex facilities at Anzoateguí state late Monday, Mr. Ramírez and a local governor led workers from state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela SA in singing the Venezuelan national anthem and ticking off the seconds until midnight. When the clock struck 12, workers took over the facilities. Petróleos de Venezuela workers and Venezuelan soldiers occupied other Cemex facilities around the country.

Cemex is learning the painful lesson that while you may be able to keep the wolves at bay for a while:

Mr. Chávez announced the cement nationalizations in April. Until then, Cemex had been among the most aggressive of Venezuela's foreign-owned firms in supporting the Chávez regime's socialist agenda by promoting housing subsidies for poor Venezuelans through three foundations.

Eventually they will come for you too.

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