One place where it seems wise not to invest money is Venezuela. President-for-life Hugo Chavez continues to expropriate anything and everything he chooses, and his comments about doing so make him sound like the ultimate thug.
His latest decision this week is to take over the rice plant owned by Cargill Inc., which happens to be the largest U.S. agricultural company, and everyone is aware of Chavez’ distaste for anything U.S. Seems like Cargill and another company were producing flavored rice, which was not subject to production and price controls, instead of white rice, which does have price controls. So Chavez sent in his army to take over the rice plants.
It is not the first time Chavez has taken over industries, of course, and probably won’t be the last as he takes a socialist path. When he seized some crude oil joint ventures a couple of years ago, some companies like Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips pulled out of the country. It is one reason I like those companies and will not gas up at Citgo, a Venezuela-owned company.
All of these moves cannot do anything but end up badly for Venezuela and those who invest in Venezuela.