The government of Venezuela says it has signed an agreement to buy an American company's interest in Venezuela's largest telecommunications company.

On Monday Venezuelan officials announced the agreement to purchase 28 percent of CANTV from Verizon, a telecommunications company based in the United States.

In early January, President Hugo Chavez said Venezuela should regain control of strategic sectors of its economy. He asked the national assembly to grant him special powers to nationalize businesses.

Last week, Venezuela agreed to buy a controlling stake in the country's largest private electric company.

On February 2, Mr. Chavez gave foreign oil companies three months to surrender control of their operations in Venezuela.

The U.S. has criticized the nationalization plan. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said last week President Chavez is destroying his country, economically and politically.

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