Chavez Takes Control of Iron, Steel Firms

Metal companies nationalized 'to build platform for socialism'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2009 6:38 AM CDT
Hugo Chavez shows a shirt with his name on it during a meeting with steel workers at Miraflores presidential palace.   (AP Photo/Miraflores Press Office)
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(Newser) – Hugo Chavez has ordered the nationalization of several large iron and steel companies in Venezuela, AFP reports. The president said the takeovers marked the start of a "process of nationalization to create an industrial complex." The move, which follows the nationalization of 39 oil service providers, would help build a "solid platform of socialism," Chavez said.

"Venezuelan workers are going to give a lesson to the world on how the working class has been resuscitated to make a revolution," Chavez declared to a group of industry workers. Police and soldiers, meanwhile, raided the home of the chief of an anti-government TV station the same day. They said they were investigating illegal car smuggling and found 24 vehicles at the suburban Caracas home.