Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro took time out from his country’s problems to invite the new Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to Caracas.
Venezuela has been destabilised by the huge fall in oil prices.
In January thousands took to the streets to protest about high inflation and crime:
“I invited have Alexis Tsipras, comrade Alexis, to visit us as soon as he can here in Venezuela. He plans to come to Latin America. He mentioned all the pressures that he is under. Because of a savage, savage neo-liberal system that has been applied in Greece,” said the president.
The acute shortage of staples in Venezuela prompted Maduro to order the state takeover of a private supermarket chain and pharmacy business and the arrest of the directors and executives of both companies.
He accused the retailers of hording food and medicine as Venezuela descends into economic chaos.
Caracas watchers say its the currency controls that restrict the amount of dollars available for exports, which is to blame for the scarcity of goods.