Venezuela nationalizes land owned by Britain's Vestey

31st October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez ordered the nationalization Sunday of the cattle grazing lands of Agropecuaria Flora, owned by Britain's Vestey Group, after the parties failed to agree on terms of sale.

Chavez signed an executive order for the "forcible acquisition" of the land -- 290,000 hectares (716,580 acres) in total.

Agropecuaria Flora has 130,000 head of cattle on its 11 ranches in Apure, Falcon and Guarico states, the company website states.

Chavez had ordered meat-related privatizations in 2005, and negotiations failed. The president said the company wanted compensation in hard currency, which his government ruled out.

"Negative, so it was forcible acquisition," Chavez explained.

The elected leftist and former paratrooper's government has been amassing farm land for the state since 1999, territory which many analysts argue is not agriculturally productive.

© 2011 AFP

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