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World Briefing / Venezuela

2 coffee firms are nationalized

November 12, 2009|Times Wire Reports

President Hugo Chavez's government nationalized two coffee companies, including Fama de America, one of Venezuela's largest coffee producers.

The state-run Bolivarian News Agency said presidential decrees published in the Official Gazette ordered the government takeover of Fama de America and Cafea, which together control about 80% of the coffee market.

The government says it is asserting control over coffee companies that it accuses of acting as monopolies and flouting price controls by smuggling coffee into Colombia.

Government officials have said they also hope to purchase a majority stake in a third company, Cafe Madrid.

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