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Caracas, Monday September 26 , 2005  
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The Azpruas were left only 1,500 hectares
President Chvez apportions La Marquesea
President Chvez promised communities living in the ranch that they will be benefited from land rescue. (Photo: AFP)
A total of 6,900 hectares will go for two social projects. The Florentino Productive Genetic Center will be organized with a USD 23 million investment. There will be also an area for military training


President Hugo Chávez is to launch two social projects in 6,900 hectares out of a total of 8,490 in La Marqueseña ranch. The Azpurúas, who claim ownership of the property, were offered 1,500 hectares and were reminded that the area is national wasteland.

During his TV and radio show "Hello, President!" last Sunday, the ruler offered the Azpúruas a deal. "Otherwise, they have the right to appeal to court," he clarified.

He proposed to develop in 2,700 hectares under special management regime, an ecological agricultural project with the participation of residents of Peñalarga village.

"The project is ready. In accordance with environmental rules, coffee, cocoa, and some fruit plantations, as well as reforestation plans, can be implemented."

A second project includes a plot of land for genetic agricultural development of seeds and plantation of basic commodities in an area comprising 4,200 hectares.

"All over the area, a state company called Florentino Genetic Center will be established. Approximately USD 25 million will be invested. A total of USD 10.2 million will be spent the first year. Funding is secured already."

The government intends to use 2,900 hectares for cattle genetic improvement. In this regard, about USD 6 million will be spent. A portion of 800 hectares will be used for the project concerning seeds, including an investment of USD 583,000. Additionally, 500 hectares will be used to plant commodities for human and animal consumption, for the amount of US 280,000. The investment will be completed with USD 16 million for machines and equipments, and USD 235,000 for inner roads.

Also, the ruler proposed to use an area in La Marqueseña for army exercises.

"I will not issue any opinion on legal issues. I talked to Carlos Azpúrua. We do not have any intention whatsoever of running over anybody. I met a Venezuelan willing to join efforts with the government, ready to accept the facts. My regards to Mr. Azpúrua, communication channels are open."

"I am sure that you (Carlos Azpúrua) and your family will end up winning from the moral, social and economic point of view, because the cattle available is limited. I am sure that if you work along with the genetic center, then you can enlarge it."

Translated by Conchita Delgado

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