The Administration’s plan to take over General Motors certainly startled a lot of people, both in the U.S. and internationally. Now comes word that even Hugo Chavez — an acknowledged expert in the theory and practice of nationalization — found the move remarkable, publicly musing as to whether President Obama has now outflanked Fidel Castro and himself.

On a live television broadcast Tuesday, the Venezuelan president remarked: “Hey, Obama has just nationalized nothing more and nothing less than General Motors. Comrade Obama! Fidel, careful or we are going to end up to his right.”

It was presumably a joke. Still, there’s always the concern that the Obama Administration will take it as a challenge. After all, the Administration’s motto is “yes, we can.” They might.