Venezuela’s parliament voted Wednesday to nationalize one of the country’s main insurance companies, Seguros La Previsora, which was shut by the authorities in December on suspicion of illegal activities.
The company had been out of action since then, when officials said documents “of criminalistic interest” had been found during a raid on its headquarters.
President Hugo Chavez said at the time that the insurance company was going to be nationalized, but members of parliament had not voted on the issue until Wednesday.
La Previsora was shuttered at the same time as a bank it owned,
Confederado and six other banks that were all closed over alleged capitalization problems and unexplained funds.
Half a dozen people linked to those banks were arrested in December, including some with ties to public officials.
Chavez has recently stepped up the pace of socialist reforms in the OPEC nation, including nationalizing swathes of industry and promoting new communal property laws.
He has also increased his government’s role in banking, and repeatedly says he is battling “parasitic bourgeoisie” as he gears up for parliamentary elections on Sept. 26.
(Reporting by Diego Ore; Writing by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Jerry Norton)
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