El Nacional reported today that private home construction in Venezuela has slowed by 88.8% in the last five years. While the private sector built 90,000 homes in 2010, it is expected to end 2015 with 10,000 homes built.

Carlos Alberto Gonzalez, the head of the Camara Immobiliaria de Venezuela [Venezuelan Real Estate Chamber] blamed the dramatic decrease on strict government regulations that prevent developers and builders from having ready access to foreign currency to take on new projects. Gonzalez also blamed the fact that home prices have been frozen for the last four years, even though the country’s inflation during the same period is likely the highest in the world. Gonzalez called the problems facing the industry “systemic”.

Gonzalez also pointed out that only 3% of the Venezuelan population qualifies for home financing, saying:

A family that asks for a Bs. 4 million loan – the highest amount of money mortgage lenders will approve – ends up paying Bs. 37,000 per month, which requires a monthly income of between Bs. 115,000 to 120,000.

In Venezuela, the minimum monthly salary is just over Bs. 7,400.

To make the housing situation more complicated, Gonzalez pointed out that public housing construction has been suffering as well. Mision Vivienda, the country’s public housing project, has fallen short of its yearly home construction goals three years in a row. While in 2014 the government promised to build 400,000 houses through the country, it only managed to construct 126,000Mision Vivienda is expected to build approximately 100,000 homes this year.

Jaua: Guarenas Protests Paid by Capriles

Elias Jaua, the head of Corpomiranda (a body responsible for development in the state) spoke yesterday on the recent protests In Guarenas, where citizens have been taking to the streets for the past three days to complain about failures in the electrical and water systems.

Jaua said that rather than being protests against failing infrastructure, the protests were paid for and organized by Miranda state governor Henrique Capriles. Jaua said:

If the people of Guarenas rise up, it will be against your [Capriles’] rotten bourgeois, not against the revolution (…) we’ve defeated your violence.

Rodriguez: “Commando” Group Attacked Electrical Station

Foreign Affairs Minister Delcy Rodriguez said yesterday that a “heavily-armed commando group” forced their way into an electrical substation a Guigue in Carabobo state. Rodriguez said:

A heavily-armed commando group of approximately 10 men forced their way into the electrical substation in Carabobo. One of them was able to enter the administrative offices, while the rest stayed outside.

Rodriguez did not say if any kind of struggle took place at the site, but she did suggest that the event was “terrorist” in nature. She also implied that none of the alleged attackers had been detained yet.

Maduro Visits Raul Castro

Maduro travelled to Havana, Cuba yesterday to meet with Raul Castro in the Palacio de la Revolucion. Cuban Foreign Affairs minister Bruno Rodriguez Parilla also attended the meeting. According to Cuban television, Castro and Maduro met:

… to talk about different issues regarding the bilateral agenda, and talked about international events.

There are no other details about the event.

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com


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