VENEZUELA

Chavez Nationalizes Supermarket Chain

After devaluing the bolivar Jan. 8 in an effort to improve government finances and boost the economy, Venezuela President Hugo Chavez on Sunday nationalized Exito, a chain of supermarkets. On his weekly television show, he said his decision was based on Exito's "multiple violations of Venezuelan laws," and that the supermarket was increasing prices without justification. With the risk of inflation at due to his decision to devalue the bolivar, the president has ordered troops to monitor shopping districts and has also closed some of the supermarket stores, in anticipation of angry citizens.