Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez Asks Coca Cola Trucks to Abandon Lot

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez asked local Coca-Cola distributors to voluntarily abandon a parking lot in the country within two weeks to allow community organizers to put the land to better use.

Chavez said that Coca-Cola trucks are occupying a flat hectare of land that’s surrounded by a densely populated area. Monterrey, Mexico-based Fomento Economico Mexicano SAB (FMX) owns Venezuela’s Coca-Cola distribution network.

“We can’t allow this,” Chavez said on state television today. “I give Coca-Cola two weeks, so that on its own, voluntarily, it can abandon this plot.”

Chavez has increased government intervention in privately- owned land over the past two weeks as he moves to raise state control of the economy.

He announced the expropriation of a rice plant owned by Cargill Inc. on March 4, and two days later announced the seizure of a 1,500 hectare plot of land owned by Ireland’s Smurfit Kappa Group Plc. (SKG)

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Walter in Caracas at mwalter4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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