*** Venezuela’s “El Commandante” Hugo Chavez continues on his neo-communist trail of nationalization. This Thursday, he threatened to nationalize the country’s banks and the largest steel producer.
“Private banks have to give priority to financing the industrial sectors of Venezuela at low cost,” Comrade Chavez intonated. “If banks don’t agree with this, it’s better that they go, that they turn over the banks to me, that we nationalize them and get all the banks to work for the development of the country and not to speculate and produce huge profits.”Bad news for Venezuelan banks like Mercantil Servicios Financieros as well as global banks with assets in the country, such as Banco Santander and Citigroup Inc. Another handy takeover target is steel producer Sidor, which is controlled by Luxembourg’s Ternium SA.
Chavez does not make idle threats. He has already nationalized Venezuela’s largest telecommunications company and the electricity sector as well as the richest oil fields and refineries.