Backed by national guard troops and cheering crowds, government representatives moved in on three Cemex plants at the stroke of midnight Monday, the end of a 60-day deadline set by President Hugo Chavez for imposing state control over Venezuela’s largest cement maker.
Chavez has long criticized Venezuela’s private-sector cement makers for high prices and tight supplies that he says have hampered government efforts to build housing for the poor. Pro-nationalization supporters who had gathered outside a Cemex facility in eastern Venezuela sang the national anthem while fireworks exploded overhead, according to news reports.
Of course, this being reported in the Denver Post, someone still felt duty-bound to note for the sake of “fairness and balance”:
But Mexico’s ambassador to Venezuela, Mario Chacon, made his displeasure clear. Chavez’s hard line with Cemex, one of Mexico’s most admired companies, has irritated the conservative administration of Mexican President Felipe Calderon.
“As a government, we respect Venezuela’s decision, but we are obligated to look out for the interests of our companies,” Chacon said. “We believe there has been discriminatory treatment against Cemex, and we don’t understand why.”
Good job, D-Post. Now go back to sleep. You’ve got a Dem convention coming up to report on. And you need your beauty rest, especially since you got scooped on the secret prisons in your city, built specially for the occasion.