Thursday, January 18, 2007


Crystallex Inc., a gold miner, was hurt today on rumors Venezuela will nationalize the mining industry. The minister's comments were vague and not on the point. If Hugo nationalizes the foreign interest in mining he will lay an egg that will cost his country billions. He and his ministers are not on the same page. What he will do is tax foreign companies at a rate that will return immediate income. He does not have the resources to initiate nor support a nationalized mining campaign.

Most of Hugo's deputies are fielding questions right and left. They are using talking points without specific guidelines. Even Chavez wakes up each day with a new outline.

What he has nationalized is in place, running on overdrive, and profitable. Mining in Venezuela has mostly been a "cottage industry" and he will not settle for that status quo.

Hugo Chavez is many things, but not stupid.

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