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Page added on October 31, 2009

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After takeovers, Venezuela oil area languishes

CIUDAD OJEDA, VENEZUELA (Reuters) – Five months after Venezuela nationalized dozens of oil service contractors in Zulia state, the once-bustling industrial dock on Lake Maracaibo is nearly abandoned, and the 16 red flags raised to celebrate the takeovers are already tattered and faded.

A few small groups of workers remain, hoping to get the jobs they were promised after the expropriations.

As part of his drive to install socialism in the OPEC nation, Chavez expropriated the companies contracted by state-run PDVSA, with promises of social prosperity and worker justice.

Over the months since then, protests have intensified so much the government sent troops to control the discontented workers. Many of the protesters sewed their lips together and chained their hands and feet to call the president’s attention to their plight.


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