Chavez Blames Floods on Capitalism, Orders Hotels Seized

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez said capitalism is to blame for flooding and landslides caused by torrential rains that that have killed at least 32 and forced more than 90,000 to seek refuge in government shelters.

Chavez said empty hotels at the popular resort town of Higuerote, east of Caracas, should be seized temporarily to house people whose homes were flooded when the river burst their banks. He said people should look for land to expropriate to build new homes on higher ground.

“It’s not just nature that’s to blame,” he said on state television while visiting the town. “This is also a product of capitalism because the rich took all the high ground leaving the poor near the river that burst. We need to go after the high ground.”

He said the rich would not need the hotels over Christmas because they all went to Miami or Europe for their holidays.

To contact the reporter on this story: Charlie Devereux in Caracas at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at

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