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10/9/08

Exclusive: Chávez Bankrupts USA in Vicious BigMac Attack

It is a little-known fact that before becoming President, Hugo Chávez
once screen tested for the role of Ronald McDonald

In a two-pronged attack on the Empire's main source of nutrition, Hugo Chávez has dealt a seemingly mortal blow to McDonald's (MCD) and the USA as a whole.

The first hit came yesterday, when a McDonald's restaurant in Cagua in the State of Aragua was closed for hygenic reasons. Part two of the major offensive came today, as the Venezuelan tax office closed all 115 restaurants in the country because of non-payment of taxes, as Reuters explains here (in English). Here's an extract:

CARACAS, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Venezuela's tax body has shut all branches of McDonald's in the South American nation for 48 hours as punishment for alleged tax irregularities, the government said on Thursday.

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez is a harsh critic of the U.S. "empire" and of global capitalism. Since first winning elections ten years ago, he has raised taxes and often temporarily closes companies accused of failing to pay.

We can clearly see the result in McDonald's share price chart over the last 48 hours.

click to enlarge

It is also thought that the Chávez induced run on McDonald's stock today was the prime cause of the late day selloff in the broad markets, with many traders fearing that they wouldn't be able to enjoy a Big Mac ever again and panicking about what to have for lunch tomorrow.