Skip to comments.Venezuela's Hugo Chavez seizes sugar plantations
Posted on 04/11/2008 9:40:55 AM PDT by jazusamo
BOGOTA, COLOMBIA Venezuelan armed forces occupied 32 sugar plantations Thursday, the latest in a wave of takeovers that some say is a bid by President Hugo Chavez to regain political momentum and reverse his recent slide in the polls.
The farms in Lara state were taken over by army units at the request of the Chavez government's National Land Institute, or INTI. The institute in recent years has handled the takeover of thousands of acres of farmland and turned them over to worker cooperatives.
The government last week said it would seize privately owned cement manufacturers, and Wednesday it said it would "renationalize" Sidor, one of Latin America's largest steel factories. A 1998 privatization placed Sidor in the control of an Argentine-Italian joint venture.
INTI President Juan Carlos Loyo told reporters that the farm seizures were ordered after inspections showed 80% of them were idle.
However, the local association of sugar growers said at a news conference that the farms were productive and that they would fight the "militarization" of their crops.
The seizures are part of Chavez's "socialism for the 21st century" agenda, in which he is using Venezuela's oil riches to transform the economy. But they also show the challenges facing him and his Bolivarian Revolution, and it is unclear whether replacing private enterprise with state-financed worker cooperatives and other measures will succeed at reviving his popularity.
Critics said the takeovers appear politically motivated as Chavez strives to regain favor with the public and shift blame to the private sector for food and housing shortages and inflation.
With state and local elections scheduled for November, Chavez is attempting to demonstrate strength, observers said.
The president has seen his approval rating plummet to 37% in March from 50% last June and as high as 66% in...
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
I’m sure it will work as well for Chavez as it did for Mugabe.
Hugo is following the Robert Mugabe playbook. Good luck with that.
Who says communism is dead?
His Hollywood pals will be proud.
Hugo’s trying his best to resuscitate it.
He’s bipolar. Very dangerous situation down there. He’s going to leave wreckage on the order of Baghdad when they finally get their act together to get rid of him down there.
Bush should appoint Alan Keyes to Abassador for Noncommunism in South America and give im an office in Caracas.
It won’t help the situation, but Alan could annoy someone else for a change.
A model for Hillary The Beast Clinton to follow if she succeeds in her quest to steal the nomination and then wins the election.
To minimize the wreckage let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later.
The pattern never really varies, does it? I mean, other than speed.
The DNC should make Hugo an honorary member of the Democratic Party.
Pelosi’s working on it already for the DNC.
He's doing that all right. The Venezuelan economy is being completely 'transformed'.
One day soon Venezuelan armed forces will seize Hugo Chavez and take him for a helicopter ride into the jungle. It will later be reported he fled the country with trunks of money.
This guy is going to be gone in a year or two I hope. His people will really be suffering otherwise.