Chavez rejects British firm's compensation demands

President Hugo Chavez says Venezuela refuses to pay compensation in foreign currency to a British-owned company after his government expropriated tens of thousands of acres of its ranchlands.

Chavez says the government has received a demand for payment in dollars from the owners of Agropecuaria Flora, a local subsidiary of the British company Vestey Group.

But Venezuela insists in paying for private land it has taken over in bolivars, Venezuela's currency.

It's difficult for foreign companies operating in Venezuela to repatriate profits and other income due to foreign currency controls in the South American country.

Representatives of Agropecuaria Flora did not answer telephone calls seeking comment Sunday.