March 4, 2009
Headed for another showdown
Juan Cristobal says: - Chavez has just ordered the expropriation of Cargill - not sure whether that means all of Cargill's operations or just its rice facilities. Cargill produces many well-known staples in Venezuela, including cooking oils El Rey and Vatel and Milani pastas.
He also threatened Lorenzo Mendoza, CEO of Empresas Polar, Venezuela's largest private conglomerate and an agro-business powerhouse, with total expropriation. All this because Mendoza had the gall to challenge the takeover without compensation of Primor Rice in court.
Friends I spoke to who own agro-business companies are expecting expropriation (i.e. theft) any day now. Meanwhile, Polar's employees have announced a street protest tomorrow afternoon at Avenida Francisco de Miranda.
Which begs the questions: are we headed toward yet another confrontation we are bound to lose? And if you're the owner of one of these companies, what can you do?