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BUSINESS
August 1, 2008 | Chris Kraul, Times Staff Writer
Advancing his policy of taking over major foreign companies, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Thursday that he would nationalize Spanish-owned Banco Venezuela, the country's third-largest financial institution. Chavez said during an afternoon telecast that he was seizing the bank because its owner, Banco Santander, was planning to sell it anyway. The Spanish concern, which acquired the bank in 1996, had not issued a formal comment by Thursday evening.
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BUSINESS
June 26, 2007 | From Reuters
Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips rejected a deal Monday to stay in multibillion-dollar projects that Venezuela is nationalizing, increasing the chances that two of the world's top oil companies will leave the OPEC nation, two sources close to the talks said. Four other companies -- Chevron Corp., Norway's Statoil, Britain's BP and France's Total -- plan to sign an accord that will keep them in the massive Orinoco oil reserve projects, a government official said.
WORLD
January 20, 2009 | Chris Kraul
A succession of violent incidents in Venezuela, including the armed takeover of the Caracas city hall, point to an ugly campaign ahead of a Feb. 15 vote that could lift term limits on President Hugo Chavez. A group of 40 armed men who said they were Chavez supporters were still in control of city hall Monday evening, two days after they forced their way in, handcuffed two security officers and declared the building "recovered for the revolution," a mayoral spokesman said.
WORLD
May 28, 2002 | From Associated Press
Venezuela will cooperate with Colombia's decision to grant asylum to a businessman who became president for a day during a failed coup, President Hugo Chavez said Monday. Chavez said he will grant safe passage to Pedro Carmona, adding that he expects the 60-year-old businessman to leave for Colombia "in the next hours." "I'm going to grant safe passage so he can leave Venezuela. We are obligated to do it," Chavez said during a speech to indigenous leaders.
WORLD
September 16, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
Venezuelan officials said they had topped Mexico by setting a world record for the largest pot of soup -- a giant caldron prepared by the government. The huge stainless steel cooking pot, set up outdoors in downtown Caracas, contained about 3,960 gallons of sancocho stew, Food Minister Rafael Oropeza said. He said it included 6,600 pounds of chicken, 4,400 pounds of beef and tons of vegetables, and would be enough to feed 60,000 to 70,000 people.
WORLD
January 30, 2003 | From Associated Press
Under intense pressure from President Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's banks agreed Wednesday to abandon a 59-day-old opposition strike, delivering a new blow to the faltering drive to oust the controversial leader. The National Banking Council said its members will return to normal operating hours Monday. For two months, banks have been open just three hours a day. "I think it's great," said Juan Pardo, 50, as he stood in line to cash a check. Chavez pressured the banks to reopen.
WORLD
March 9, 2003 | From Associated Press
Secret police swooped in on an anti-government demonstration Saturday in Caracas in a failed attempt to arrest a strike leader who had emerged from hiding to address the rally. The police fired shots into the air and launched tear gas canisters to disperse protesters, who smashed police vehicle windows, local television reported. There were no immediate reports of injuries or arrests.
TRAVEL
December 1, 2013 | Times staff and wire reports
A U.S. State Department travel warning on Venezuela, issued Nov. 22, says "violent crime in Venezuela is pervasive, both in the capital, Caracas, and in the interior. " In a country of about 28.5 million, 21,629 people were slain, one of the highest homicide rates in the world. Kidnappings, the State Department notes, "are also a serious concern…. In 2013, 583 kidnappings were reported," adding that 80% of kidnappings aren't reported. The department warning adds that "all U.S. direct-hire personnel and their family members who are assigned to U.S. Embassy Caracas are required to take an armored vehicle when traveling to/from Maiquetía Airport.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 10, 2012 | By Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times
When Deborah Borda, president of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, talks about her orchestra's 10-day concert tour to Venezuela that begins Friday, she uses two pointed descriptive terms. One is "critical mass. " Another, delivered with a chuckle, is "insane. " She also might have added potentially "transformative" and, perhaps, "risky. " Borda calls the tour, a multi-pronged endeavor built around the L.A. Phil's performances of Gustav Mahler's nine finished symphonies, "the biggest thing we've done since we opened Walt Disney Concert Hall" in 2003.
BUSINESS
April 11, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Government officials announced that Venezuela would gain total control over the country's largest telecommunications firm, CA Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela, or CANTV, before June 4 by purchasing at least 70% of the shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
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