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Venezuela to End Negotiations With Foreign Oil Companies

Venezuela's oil minister says his country will end talks with foreign oil companies concerning the country's takeover of oil projects financed by the private companies.

Rafael Ramirez said Monday that the negotiations have become impossible.

Venezuela has said it would take majority control of oil projects along the Orinoco River, where the private companies have invested billions of dollars.

Ramirez also says a plan by President Hugo Chavez to nationalize Venezuela's electricity sector would mean the complete takeover of the country's largest power company, Electricidad de Caracas. EDC is owned by a U.S. company, AES.

Neither AES nor the foreign oil companies have responded to Ramirez's statements.

U.S. officials have said nationalizations have a long history of failure and seldom benefit the people they are meant to serve.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.