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Showing posts from March 15, 2013

Post-Chavez Venezuela as Chilly for Companies... From P&G to Coke ...

By David Biller, Corina Pons & Randall Woods - Mar 15, 2013 12:59 PM ET

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Ariana Cubillos/AP Photo
Venezuela's acting President Nicolas Maduro speaks at the opening of the Ninth International Book Fair of Venezuela in Caracas, Venezuela, on March 13, 2013.

In his last year as president, Hugo Chavez ordered Coca-Cola Femsa SAB to cut prices, seized a local steel company’s assets and tightened currency controls that may cost Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) $275 million.

 Doing business in Venezuela isn’t likely to get easier under his successor.

Venezuelan Interim President Nicolas Maduro delivers a speech during the official registration of his candidacy for the upcoming presidential election at the National Electoral Council in Caracas. Photographer: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP via Getty Images

Interim President Nicolas Maduro has vowed to follow his mentor’s policies, which included the expropriation of more than 1,000 companies, price controls on consumer goods and restrictions…

'FARC Selling Off Colombia Drug Franchises to Sinaloa Cartel' ...

Written by James Bargent
Monday, 11 March 2013

FARC negotiating team in Havana

The Sinaloa Cartel has been buying up FARC drug trafficking franchises as the rebels look to divest themselves of their drug assets, according to one report, suggesting the guerrillas are serious about demobilization, but sparking concerns over who will replace them.

Mid-level commanders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in the departments of Meta and Caqueta are selling off their interests in the drug trade in anticipation of success of peace negotiations currently taking place in Havana, and subsequent demobilization, according to an anonymous official source cited by El Tiempo.

The sale has provided an opening for Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's Sinaloa Cartel, which has been looking to expand its involvement in the production stage of cocaine trafficking, according to an intelligence agent consulted by El Tiempo.

The cartel's expansion into Colombia has been at least partially…