The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Venezuela: Chávez tightens financial controls

Venezuela's president has begun to put his anti-capitalist rhetoric into effect

Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez has a fanatical following at home as a fiery, anti-US leader, but his outbursts have always been taken with a pinch of salt abroad. After all, the US is the main buyer of Venezuela's oil, its chief export. But Chávez's new posturing as a virulent anti-capitalist has more than a few investors concerned.

A series of financial controls on bank interest rates, currency trading and oil investments, and a contentious land reform programme that is jeopardizing property rights are now backing up what for much of Chávez's six-year rule has been just rhetoric. "Capitalism is worse than Count Dracula, Frankenstein, the Boston Strangler and Jack the Ripper combined," Chávez proclaimed recently, promoting a socialist "revolution" he says is designed to help the country's poor. Bondholders and bankers fear Chávez, who praised Argentina's 2001 debt default, and aims to move Venezuela towards a centrally planned economy inspired by his Cuban ally Fidel Castro that could ultimately implode and throw the country into a deep recession.

On the surface, Venezuela's economy seems to be doing better than ever. Economic growth was Latin America's highest last year at 17% and the government says it will be 10% this year.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree