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Since coming to power six years ago, Mr Chávez has promised to carry out an agrarian reform as part of his self-styled "revolution". Yet in spite of a surge of land invasions, an official plan is only now being developed.
According to an official census, 60 per cent of agricultural land is owned by just 1 per cent of the population. Ranchers say that large estates are far more productive than small holdings, which Mr Chávez is seeking to foster.
"Any self-respecting revolution cannot permit such a situation," Mr Chávez said on Sunday. "That's a sign of feudalism."
The government's first target was seized at the weekend, with the official "takeover" of El Charcote, a 32,000-acre cattle ranch belonging to Lord Vestey, an English meat tycoon.
Venezuela Mayor Orders Private Land Seized
CARACAS, Venezuela - The mayor of Venezuela's second-largest city ordered the government to seize two swaths of abandoned private lands Tuesday, saying the property would be used for projects to benefit the entire population.
Giancarlo Di Martino, Maracaibo mayor and staunch supporter of President Hugo Chavez, told The Associated Press the lands include 62 acres within the city and an abandoned industrial zone running along the shore of lake Maracaibo about 20 miles to the southeast.
Di Martino's order coincides with a sweeping land reform being led by Chavez to turn over "idle" farmlands to the poor. Chavez declared on Monday that the government would survey farmland across the country and gradually redistribute unused acreage.
Originally posted by iceTman
rich gringoes and colonial El Guapoes targeted. so thumbs up to Chavez.
Soon lefty Chavez and Lula Silva of Brasil will be the new axis-of-evil.
As long as persons do actually receive compensation for their land, I really don't have a problem with this.
Originally posted by Seekerof
I have read nor seen no indications that the government, be it local or national, is planning to compensate these previously owned lands.
The city of 1.7 million people plans to build public housing, a center for street children and a public sports center on the lands, Di Martino said.
He said the owners would be paid fair compensation. The owners couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
Whether they live up to the promise or not remains to be seen.
The owners couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
The mayor said the lands are partly owned by a bank and a hotel, which has been closed for decades.
Originally posted by marg6043
Right now our littler Island prime land is all privatized and when it comes to the beaches we can not even walk through the sand in "private areas"