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Venezuela nationalizes cement industry

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Thursday ordered the nationalization of the country’s cement industry in efforts to help tackle a national housing shortage, local media reported.

Speaking during a televise address, Chavez said the cement companies, including Mexico’s Cemex, will be paid fair compensation for the state takeover. “We are going to prepare a plan to modernize these cement plants,” he added. Most of the cement market in this South American country is supplied by foreign companies. (