Chavez orders nationalisation of Venezuela ferry company

AFP, Tuesday 27 Sep 2011

Firm plying routes to popular tourist island is the latest to come under state control, following the recent nationalisation of the gold mining sector

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has ordered the nationalisation of the ferry company operating routes to the northeastern tourist island of Margarita, citing poor services.

"Today (Monday) I approved the nationalisation, expropriation and temporary occupation of Consolidada de Ferrys (Conferry)," Chavez said in a phone interview broadcast on state TV.

"It's a disaster. Let's nationalise it and get all those ships operating."

Chavez made the announcement days after returning from Cuba, where he received a fourth round of chemotherapy after having a tumour removed earlier this year.

In recent years Chavez has nationalised several companies in strategic sectors such as petroleum, electricity, communications, banking and mining.

The government most recently nationalised the gold mining sector in a move Chavez said was necessary to cut down on illegal mining and smuggling.

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