Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced the nationalization of steelmaker Sidetur and of several real estate developers that failed to complete housing projects.
Chavez broke the news Sunday on a six-hour edition of his weekly television program, a week after announcing in the same venue that his government was nationalizing the Venezuelan division of U.S.-owned Owens-Illinois Inc., the world leader in the manufacture of glass containers.
Sidetur, an affiliate of Venezuela’s biggest private steelmaker, Sivensa, processes scrap and manufactures rebar – 40% of the national production of that material – along with wire rod or construction cable, as well as cross sections for metal carpentry.
The firm has six plants in Caracas, Guarenas, Valencia, Barquisimeto and Puerto Ordaz.
The leftist president also announced on Sunday the expropriation of six real estate projects, most of them located in Greater Caracas.
Concerning that, Chavez said that the measures were being carried out to benefit the middle class since many of the affected dwellings were paid for but had not been completed because work had become paralyzed there.
Chavez began his plan to nationalize “strategic sectors” of the economy in January 2007, and since then dozens of firms – mainly in the energy, telecommunications, steel, banking and food sectors – have been expropriated and put under state control. He has also expropriated thousands of acres of land to distribute among peasants.