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Chavez seizes 490,000 acres from beef magnate

A HISTORIC tract of land that has provided beef for the dining tables of Britain for a century has been seized by the government of Venezuela in the latest round of forced nationalisation of private assets.

The seizure brings to an end a long-running battle of wits between President Hugo Chavez and Lord Vestey, whose family has owned the 490,000 acres since 1903.

Mr Chavez, who boasts of his efforts to emulate Robert Mugabe's land-grab programme in Zimbabwe, said he had reached a deal with Lord Vestey for the handover of almost half a million acres.

While Mr Chavez said an "amicable settlement" had been reached, the Vestey family has long signalled its displeasure at having to give up its land. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent