A failure to understand how business is done in Venezuela

BBC:

The mayor of Venezuela's capital Caracas says he plans to expropriate two exclusive golf courses and use the land for homes for the city's poor.

Mayor Juan Barreto has said playing golf on lavish courses within sight of the city's slums is "shameful".

Mr Barreto, an ally of President Hugo Chavez, has been trying to address a dramatic housing shortage in Caracas.

But critics say property rights are being eroded in Venezuela, where farms and ranches have also been seized.

Three years ago Mr Chavez's left-wing government started redistributing agricultural land that it said was underused to help landless peasants.

But this is the first time officials have announced plans to expropriate privately-owned urban land to make way for public housing, says the BBC's Greg Morsbach in Caracas.

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I predict it will be a failure, and business in Venezuela will also suffer. This appears to be a reverse Kelo where land will be put to non productive use. You would think in a country as big as Venzuela, they could find some unimproved land to develop for housing. It also tells Venezuelans that any wealth they acquire is subject to confiscation.

Meanwhile, this appear to be money well spent:

The US government has been accused of trying to undermine the Chávez government in Venezuela by funding anonymous groups via its main international aid agency.

Millions of dollars have been provided in a "pro-democracy programme" that Chávez supporters claim is a covert attempt to bankroll an opposition to defeat the government.

The money is being provided by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Office of Transition Initiatives. The row follows the recent announcement that the US had made $80m (£42m) available for groups seeking to bring about change in Cuba, whose leader, Fidel Castro, is a close ally of Mr Chávez.

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There is more on the US's attempt to get rid of the despot Chavez.

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