Shortly after Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez announced seven African nations would join him in forming a transcontinental mining corporation – conspicuously without the Democratic Republic of Congo - the DRC’s economy minister, Andre-Philippe Futa, died of cardiac arrest in a Paris hotel while on a stopover from an official trip to Venezuela. Futa’s background gives some understanding why Africa’s most resource-rich nation didn’t join in Venezuela’s grand idea. Bloomberg reports he had taught economics at Oklahoma State University and worked at the African Development Bank. Neither of these institutions is as rabidly anti-Western as Chavez. And the DRC is home to many big Western miners. A case of putting your money where your mouth – or your heart - is.