Looks like Hugo Chavez is already delving into his bag of pre-election tricks.
Chavez announced this week that he would nationalize the gold industry, and ordered home some 200 tons of gold the country had stored with European and American banks. The decision was taken in part, he said, because of the U.S. debt crisis and fears of instability in Europe. Chavez argued that the gold would be safer at home or with allied countries, such as China.
“I agree with bringing that home,” Chavez said on state television, according to Bloomberg. “It’s a healthy decision.”
Chavez already has plenty of cash—Venezuela sits on the largest oil reserves in the world. But with presidential elections coming next year, Chavez may also be looking to secure other assets as he prepares for his campaign.