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Chavez nationalises iron firms to create 'industrial complex'

Latest update : 2009-05-22

In a televised address, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez (pictured) announced the nationalisation of several iron and steel companies as part of plans for an "industrial complex" that would allow the firms to become a "platform of socialism".

AFP - President Hugo Chavez announced Thursday the nationalization of several iron companies in the country, to pave way for a large "socialist" state-run enterprise, without giving details on the venture.
"There is nothing to discuss. We've been on this for a long time," he said in a televised address, ordering the beginning of "a process of nationalization to create an industrial complex."
Chavez named Matesi, Consigua, Ceramicas Carabobo, steel tube maker Tavsa, as well as Orinoco Iron and Venprecar, which belong to the Venezuelan-owned International Briquettes Holding (IBH), which exports iron briquettes.
The announcement is the start of a "transition" so that these companies can become the "solid platform of socialism," he said.
"Venezuelan workers are going to give a lesson to the world on how the working class has been resuscitated to make a revolution!" he told industry workers in the western state of Bolivar.
The workers stood and sang the national anthem.
Since 2007 the Venezuelan government has moved ahead with nationalization of a wide range of companies from telecommunications, electricity, cement and oil sectors.
A fortnight ago the Chavez administration expropriated 39 oil service providers, some backed by foreign capital, after the government passed a law extending the state's control over all activities related to the industry.
According to the government's official journal Venezuelan Petroleum (PDVSA) and affiliated firms took "control of operation and the immediate possession of institutions, documentation, goods and equipment" of the 39 firms.
Many of the firms were subsidiaries of foreign businesses.
On May 7, Venezuela's National Assembly passed a law that "reserves for the state, the goods and services connected to primary hydrocarbon activities."
"We will start to recover assets that will now belong to the state, as they always should have," Chavez said at the time.

Date created : 2009-05-22