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Government orders takeover of private airport in Venezuela

Government orders takeover of private airport in Venezuela

A state governor allied with President Hugo Chavez ordered the expropriation of a private airport on the outskirts of Caracas, the airport's manager said Thursday.
The small Caracas Airport in Charallave is being seized under the orders of Miranda state Gov. Diosdado Cabello, airport manager Henry Vasquez said.
The move to expropriate the airport, primarily used by smaller planes, coincides with Chavez's drive to nationalize businesses in "strategic sectors" as he aims to establish a socialist economic system. Caracas' main airport, Simon Bolivar International Airport on the coast in Maiquetia, is already state-owned.
Some 500 shareholders in the Caracas airport were surprised by Cabello's move when he announced the expropriation Wednesday, Vasquez told Union Radio.
Cabello said expropriating the smaller airport for "reasons of public utility" would help alleviate air traffic at the international airport in Maiquetia.
"We don't want to take out anyone. On the contrary, we want to substantially improve the use of the airport," Cabello said during a visit to a nearby town. It was not immediately clear how much the government intends to pay shareholders.
Vasquez said the airport's owners do not understand why the government sees expropriation as necessary since government officials and soldiers already control operations at the airport.
Chavez also has announced the nationalization of Venezuela's dominant telephone company, C.A. Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela, along with electric companies and the national gas sector.
The state plans to take a controlling share in heavy oil projects in the oil-rich Orinoco River Basin of eastern Venezuela, but Chavez has said foreign companies will be welcome to continue investing as minority partners in the oil sector.


Updated : 2021-05-07 01:30 GMT+08:00