Venezuela: Building a Boom

Venezuela's economy floats on a sea of oil, but it can be a choppy voyage. As with other one-commodity countries, politics can intrude, markets can shift and prices tumble. Last week, at least one city in Venezuela was learning to live on other resources. In historic, Spanish-colonial Valencia, 96 miles west of Caracas, a highly diversified industrial complex is growing up, and attracting many U.S. investors.

Fast-growing (pop. 202,000) Valencia owes its boom to a wide-awake municipal council that is luring industry by offering good facilities, a big labor pool, tax exemptions and political peace....

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