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Venezuela completes nationalization of telecommunications company CANTV

President Hugo Chavez's government assumed operational control of the Venezuela's largest telecommunications company on Monday, completing its nationalization by appointing a new board of directors.

Telecommunications Minister Jesse Chacon said the takeover of CA Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela is part of a march toward a "new socialist state." Electric companies and oil fields also have been affected by the nationalization drive.

The government said earlier this month that it had raised its ownership stake in CANTV to 86.2 percent, in part by paying US$572 million (€422.6 million) to New York-based Verizon Communications Inc. for its 28.5 percent stake.

CANTV said the government appointed Socorro Hernandez, who has worked in Venezuela's oil industry, as president of CANTV's new board on Monday. Other board members include representatives of workers as well as various government ministries.

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