Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez – notable Fidel Castro wannabe, loudmouthed buffoon of the first order and apparent Cadillac aficionado – has given an ultimatum to General Motors, Fiat (i.e. Chrysler), Toyota and Ford: Share your technology with us or get out of the country. (In Toyota's case, it sounds as if Chavez wants them to hit some arbitrary quotas, as well.) The affected parties, all of which maintain production facilities in the country, kept mum in response to Chavez's demand, according to the Associated Press, which reported the story on Wednesday.
If the automakers don't comply, Chavez basically stated that he will eject them from his socialist utopia in favor of automakers from countries he's more friendly with. AP quotes him as saying, "I invite you to pack up your belongings and leave. I'll bring in the Russians, the Belorusians, the Chinese."
At least he didn't openly threaten to nationalize them (yet), as he's wont to do with pretty much any other private enterprise he thinks he could run better. Yeah, this'll definitely end well. Thanks to Roy for the tip.
[Source: AP via Yahoo! News | Image: AFP/Getty]