Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Hiltons Ain't Got Nothing on Chavez


President Hugo Chavez has ordered the "acquisition by force" of a landmark Hilton Hotel on Venezuela's Margarita island, the government's Official Gazette announced Tuesday.

...The sprawling complex includes 280 rooms, 210 suites, a casino, stores, restaurants, offices and meeting areas, as well as the adjoining marina.

The assets will be held by the state tourism corporation Venetur, which reports to the Tourism Ministry, as part of an "urgent" effort to boost "the social development side of the tourism and hotel industries in Nueva Esparta state," the Gazette said.

It is not the first time Chavez's government has checked into a Hilton and stayed for good.

Caracas has already seized the Hotel Hilton in Caracas, rechristening it the Hotel Alba, a reference to the Venezuelan-led leftist regional alliance Alianza Bolivariana para las Americas (ALBA).

In the past four years, Venezuela has implemented the nationalization of industries it sees as strategic including electrical utilities, cement, steel, oil services and banking.

The news coming out of Venezuela just gets steadily more ludicrous with every day that passes. The seizure of a Hilton hotel is only the most recent news that I've come across. The last news that I've heard before this was about Chavez acquiring more weapons because he's convinced that the US is going to come into Colombia and aim missiles at Venezuela, and the news that I'd heard before THAT was about Chavez making the sale of Coke Zero illegal due to ambiguous "health concerns."

I'd mock amazement, but there is little that Chavez can do that will surprise me in the least. I've had the pleasure of hearing his sound clips on Primer Impacto on Univision for a good chunk of my life, and any Spanish-speaking person who has ever been subjected to that can attest to the utter ridiculousness of Chavez. He may be able to convince his fervent followers (and believe me, they exist in droves), but the rest of the world just looks on in complete confusion. Videos of Chavez preaching to an adoring choir erupting in applause, news stories of his latest paranoias, his newest nuclear arms purchases, his latest and greatest encroachments on personal liberty, and his steady destruction of any semblance of a free market remaining of Venezuela - it's all so surreal that you can't even imagine that it's happening, or even worse, that the same could happen elsewhere.


  1. I can't imagine there will be companies lining up to do business in Venezuela if their capital assets are subject to random seizure.

    I guess you could always boycott Citgo, if you felt so moved.

  2. He wants to ban Coke Zero?

    I knew there was something about him I didn't like!

  3. He DID ban Coke Zero. Stores had to throw out their entire stock of them a few months ago...

  4. He DID ban Coke Zero.

    Well then, case closed! He is evil, and I'm not being facetious! Who knew he was an ally of the "everything is bad for you" crowd?

    I have a question for Coca-Cola though. Why oh why don't you replace Diet Coke with Zero? Make Zero the New Diet Coke!


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