Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Here We Go Again: Business Owners Move Out of Building “Expropriated” by Venezuela's Chavez

This guy is out of control. Hope Oliver Stone and Mark Lloyd are pleased with their boy.

CARACAS – The businessmen in a building in the central part of the Venezuelan capital that was expropriated by decree by President Hugo Chavez abandoned their stores hurriedly with sadness and bitterness on Tuesday to avoid having their products and equipment confiscated.

“The only words we have on the part of the government are ‘expropriate it!’ Nothing more,” Rafael Garrido, who had run a jewelry store in the La Francia building for 50 years, told Efe as he removed the last of his merchandise from the shop just like other businessmen surprised by the unexpected presidential order.

The iconic building on the central Bolivar Square is one of four buildings ordered expropriated by Chavez on Sunday during his weekly television and radio program, proclaiming his intention to transform the zone into “a great historical center.”

On a tour of Caracas, the Venezuelan president asked Mayor Jorge Rodriguez what use was being made of certain buildings on the plaza, where the city’s main cathedral and offices of the Foreign Ministry are located, and the city official told him that they were occupied by a number of private businesses.

In response to that, Chavez exclaimed, “Expropriate it!”

“It’s not possible for these buildings, with so much history, with so much legacy from our forebears, to be occupied by businessmen,” added Chavez without any further explanation regarding the future use of the properties.

Chavez had announced that on Tuesday the building’s expropriation would go into effect, but so far no official has come to the site to confirm the measure, and so none of the businessmen have known what they should do in the absence of any communication with the national or city administrations.

They said that the building is the property of a foundation of the state-run Universidad de Oriente, to whom they pay monthly rent, and thus they say that “an expropriation by the state of (its own property) is illogical.”

“We don’t know what we can do. We’re trying to defend our rights. But it seems that here there are no rights. We have no rights,” Garrido concluded resignedly.

And there are people who admire this thug. Disgusting.

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