Chavez Threatens to Nationalize Banks Over Agriculture Loans

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez threatened to nationalize the country’s banks if they don’t hand over 40 billion bolivars ($9.31 billion) that make up the agriculture loans to be made in 2012.

Chavez, speaking on state television, cited Banesco Banco Universal, BBVA Banco Provincial and Mercantil Banco Universal for giving loans to industrial producers and not to small farmers.

“If you don’t comply with this, I’m willing to nationalize those private banks,” Chavez said.

Chavez asked Vice President Elias Jaua to meet with the country’s bankers this week.