More evidence dictator novice Hugo Chavez failed basic economics.

He called on officials to instead scrutinize distributors and big players in the beef business, saying if they're violating price controls "what must be done is expropriate everything from them."

At least 40 butchers were detained last week on charges of speculation for allegedly driving up their prices. Some say they were held at a military base and were later strip-searched when turned over to police.

Cold cases are empty or display only chicken at many of Caracas' butcher shops. Chain supermarkets and crowded municipal markets often offer cuts, but only in small quantities.

Butchers and wholesalers say they have the same problem facing many other industries: government price controls have eliminated profit margins. The recent arrests have prompted some to stop selling beef altogether for fear of ending up behind bars adding to the scarcity.
Glad I don't live there. Chavez is turning Venezuela into another Zimbabwe.