Venezuela: Chavez to nationalize power

Jan. 8, 2007 at 11:39 PM

CARACAS, Venezuela, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Outspoken Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced Monday he wants to nationalize the country's power and telecom sectors.

The leftist Chavez also called for an end to foreign oil-extraction installations in the Orinoco region of the country, home of Venezuela's largest and most lucrative oil deposits.

Chavez recently fired a number of high-level officials in his government, including his vice president and justice minister.

The Venezuelan leader has made several moves in recent years -- such as demanding greater state control of the country's petroleum sector -- which raised concerns in Washington that Chavez was trying to transform his country into a Cuba-style state.

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