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Chavez Plans to Nationalize Cantv, Other Utilities

By Carolyn E. Price     Jan 8, 2007 in Politics
Chavez set to nationalize, well, just about everything.
President Huga Chavez seems determined to move Venezuela toward a socialist state when announcing he will be nationalizing utilities and he is going to scrap central bank independence.
"All those sectors that are so strategic, such as electric power, everything that was privatized will be nationalized,'' Chavez said today in a televised speech in Caracas. "We will recover the strategic means of production. Cantv, let's nationalize it,'' he said.
Shares of CA Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela plunged after President Chavez made his comments.
"Chavez seems bent on modeling Venezuela after the old Soviet economy where the state controls everything,'' said Robert Bottome, an analyst with Caracas-based research company Veneconomia. "If his intentions weren't clear before, they are now.''
The Venezuelan currency, which is pegged to the U.S. dollar at a rate of 2,150, posted its biggest plunge by falling 14% to its lowest level ever. The currency has lost 54 percent of its value during the past six months.
He also has said that he wants to change the constitution to end presidential term limits. Probably so that he can, in future, use the title of "President for life".
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