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Chavez seizes foreign oil assets

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Chavez seizes foreign oil assets

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Venezuela has tightened its grip on its oil industry, seizing the assets of more foreign companies. President Hugo Chavez led his red-shirted supporters to the oil heartland of Lake Maracaibo to take control of boats and shipyards used by American service firm Simco.

“The activities of this company, water and gas injection, are all now under the control of the state, or rather under the control of the Venezuelan people,” said Chavez. Previous moves against major foreign projects have prompted American giants ExxonMobile and ConocoPhillips to leave Venezuela and sue for compensation.