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Latin America market round-up: Hugo Chávez watch

“Nobody should be scared of socialism, it’s about equality”

In a move that is bound to create concern among Venezuela’s business elite, president Hugo Chávez expropriated a sugar mill last month because the owners left it idle, despite receiving a government loan.

“The Motatan Mill is going to be expropriated. Nobody should be scared, we will pay them what the mill costs and, without harming anybody, turn the mill into a true socialist business,” said Chávez in his weekly television and radio broadcast.

Critics accuse the president of violating property laws, although poor farmers support the move. “Nobody should be scared of socialism, it’s about equality,” added the president. “Capitalism is inequality, exploitation.”

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