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Hugo Chavez moves to close Venezuelan courses

12 August, 2009

Hugo Chavez moves to close Venezuelan courses

12th August 2009

The Venezuelan president launched a tirade against the "bourgeois" sport of golf and moves to close Venezuelan courses

The Venezuelan president launched a tirade against the "bourgeois" sport recently during one of his infamous Sunday national television addresses which can last for several hours.

His government has also moved in recent weeks to shut down two of the country's best-known golf courses, according to The New York Times.

One is in Maracay and the other is in the coastal city of Carabelleda.

"Let's leave this clear," Mr Chávez said during a live broadcast. "Golf is a bourgeois sport."

Mr Chavez then went on to mock the use of golf carts used by some golfers and claimed this represented the laziness of those who played the game.

If the two planned closures go ahead the number of golf course shut down in the last three years will be nine, Julio Torres, director of the Venezuelan Golf Federation. told The New York Times.

The majority of closures have taken place in oil producing regions and were initially built for Americans who worked in the industry.

Mr Chavez sees the connection between the two as elitist.

In neighbouring Cuba, however, the government is allowing foreign investers to build several new courses as part of a determination to increase tourists revenues.

The president has said that he has no plans to make golf illegal in Venezuela. "I respect all sports," he said. "But there are sports and there are sports. Do you mean to tell me this is a people's sport?", he said.

Venezuela's government has been on a socialist drive, seizing the assets of foreign owned companies operating in the country and nationalising various industries.

Mr Chavez was accused of stifling freedom of speech when he recently announced that 34 radio stations would be closed.

From: The Telegraph


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