Defiant Chavez orders land takeover of British food giant
President Hugo Chavez on Sunday vowed to move forward on the nationalization of land owned by a subsidiary of British meat products company Vestey, as he called for “acceleration of the agrarian revolution.”
A week after opposition parties were emboldened by a strong showing in legislative elections, Chavez used his first television program since the vote to announce moves to strengthen his self-styled revolutionary government.
“All of the lands of the so-called Compania Inglesa will be nationalized now,” Chavez said, referring to the subsidiary of Britain’s international food giant Vestey.
“I don’t want to waste another day,” he added.
Chavez called for the acceleration of nationalizing agricultural assets across the country in coming months, including land and property owned by Venezuelan farming technology company Agroislena.
“Free the land, free the slave labor,” Chavez said the address, calling for the take-over that will “feed our people.”
Preparing for an Attack?|Chavez: Civilian militia should be armed full-time
CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that members of the country’s civilian militia should be issued weapons to be armed and ready at all times.
Until now, members of the militia have regularly trained at weekend boot camps, but their guns have usually been locked away in military depots when not in use.
“Who has seen a militia without weapons?” Chavez said during his Sunday television and radio program. He said he was surprised when he met some militiamen standing guard recently and learned they had no guns.
“The militias are the people with weapons in hand,” Chavez told an audience including military officers and high-ranking officials in rural Guarico state.
“We need to break old paradigms because we’re still seeing the militias as if they were a complementary force, some battalions that get together once a month over there, or go and march somewhere,” Chavez said. “No, buddy. The militia is a permanent territorial unit and it should be armed, equipped and trained – campesinos, workers.”
Chavez also suggested that the country should accelerate the formation of militia units.