El Nacional published an article yesterday in which it claims that the national government is creating infrastructure deficits through its Mision Vivienda subsidized housing program in Caracas by failing to provide for parking spaces, recreational and green areas, and schools.
Apart from leaving much to be desired architecturally, the Gran Mision Vivienda buildings were built just anywhere, even though [the areas] were not prepared in terms of infrastructure and equipment.
The article points out that only 40% of the Mision Vivienda building projects completed in 2013 can count on all the equipment necessary for a functioning building, while only 10% have parking lots, according to a study by the city of Caracas.
Bolivar quantified the scope of the infrastructure deficit:
Using a calculation of 250 liters of water per resident per day, these buildings require 34,000,000 liter of water more than what they received, 94 hectares of green spaces, 17,410 parking spaces, 10.2 hectares of new kindergartens, along with 31 hectares of primary education and 3.1 hectares for diversified education.
Marco Negron, an architect, told El Nacional that the Mision VIvienda is a “deceitful electoral offer” that, despite having a greater budget than that of Guatemala in 2012, is an ultimately opaque organization. Negron also said that the government has erred by building apartment complexes wherever there is space without any apparent consideration for infrastructure and urban planning concerns.
Noerberto Bausson, the former vice-president of operations and maintenance at Hidrocapital told the newspaper that the haphazard way in which Mision Vivienda builds homes is having a serious effect on Caracas’ water supply and sewage system. Bausson pointed out that the city has not conducted any water infrastructure programs in the last 17 years.
World Bank: Venezuela Most Difficult Country for Business in Latin America
The World Bank issued a report yesterday in which it qualifies Venezuela has the most difficult country in which to do business in all of Latin America. According to the report, Venezuela presents the greatest number of obstacles in the region for businesses.
Mexico ranked highest in the region, taking the 38th spot of all countries measured in the world. Venezuela ranked 186, only scoring better than South Sudan, Libya, and Eritrea in the “Ease of Doing Business” measure.
The report points out that the incorporation process in Venezuela requires lawyers, and that it costs 86% of income per capita and at least five days to complete. These legal services can cost “more than $10,000”.
Maduro: Revolution Declares “Emergency”
Speaking at an event on Monday, Maduro said that the opposition was preparing for a coup d’etat to be carried out on December 6, the day of the parliamentary elections, and called on supporters to ready themselves. Maduro made the comments after signing a document saying he would respect the results of the elections.
Starting right now, everyone who needs to know – and even those who don’t – should know this: the Bolivarian revolution is declaring itself in an emergency with an anti-coup plan to guarantee the electoral victory on December 6 of this year. This revolution will never be betrayed or handed over. Let the pelucones [derogatory term for opposition supporter] know!
Maduro also repeated what has become his mantra lately: that the election must be won “by any means”:
You know what that means, right? (…) [You know] why I say that, right? (…) because the right-wing is not campaigning to win the elections, no.
Nieves Speaks on Lopez, Colombian Paramilitaries
Former Lopez prosecutor Franklin Nieves continues to speak to media after his defection to the United States last week. Most recently, Nieves spoke with Fernando del Rincon on CNN En Espanol, and made a number of news statements regarding the Lopez case.
Nieves said that Lopez did not know his co-accused “in any way”, and that the first time they met was on July 23 – the first day of their trial. The claim is important because it undermines one of the core government arguments that the men conspired to carry out violence during the February 12 protests.
When asked if he ever spoke with Lopez, Nieves said:
Yes. We always spoke in courtroom. We talked about the process. He asked me, “Franklin, what do you think is going to happen?”, and I’d say, “Your sentence has already been written. You’re not getting out of here. You’re going to be sentenced, brother, because they’re afraid of you. President Nicolas Maduro and Diosdado Cabello are afraid of your leadership. They know that you’re a leader, and that you move masses in Venezuela.
On a radio show that aired on Miami’s Blu Radio, Nieves also said that Maduro’s constant claims that Colombian paramilitaries are to blame for the country’s problems are “a show”, saying:
They said that they [Colombian paramilitaries] were trying to assassinate Nicolas Maduro, and what the SEBIN agents do is take all the cattle away from these productive Colombian people.
Protest in Caracas Bicentenario Over Scarcity
La Patilla uploaded a video to YouTube recorded yesterday that shows angry citizens protesting the scarcity crisis outside the Bicentenario supermarket in Palo Verde, Caracas.
Below, the video along with my translation:
Woman in Purple: The people are hungry! We’re hungry! We’re lied to every day. There’s no chicken today. When can we buy it? On Tuesday! The people are hungry! There’s no food! [people chant, “The people are hungry!”] We’ve been here since two, three, four in the morning, and only now they tell us there’s no food. It’s not fair.
Cameraman: What time is it now?
Woman in Purple: It’s 1:00 PM, and we’ve been here since two, three in the morning. Who’s got answers for us? No one. We have rights. Our children eat, and they’re hungry. There’s hunger. We’re hungry.
Woman in Orange: What they’re doing to us is humiliating [man in the background: “This is a joke!”]. Since 3:00 AM, yo soy una persona [impertencia?] [I’m not sure what this means], so then they come out smiling and say, “There’s no chicken”. What about all the elderly people? And what do my children eat? Nothing. I didn’t get anything, and I get roughed up in there because they mistreat us.
Cameraman: The government usually says that these lines are cause by the opposition, by paramilitaries. Is that true?
Woman in Orange: [Joined by crowd] No! That’s not true. There’s chavistas here, everyone is here. [Unintelligible yelling: “We’re the people!”]
Woman in Black and White: We’re all chavistas here, but take a look at what’s happening. We want this to be fixed, and we want it fixed now, please.
Woman in White Cap: We’re tired. The police officers and the relatives of the Bicentenario [workers] take everything! They bribe them. We’re fed up! We’ve got families!
Woman in Orange: How is it possible for the chicken to arrive at 11:00 AM, and at 1:00 PM it’s sold out? Because they take it all over through, through the other door.
Woman in Yellow and White Stripes: We hope all of this gets out, because we cant this all to be fixed. We don’t want to live this life anymore.
Elderly Woman in Purple: [unintelligible. Sounds like, “They want to take everything…”] so they can sell it in restaurants. The chickens, they want to get them all so they can sell them in restaurants.
Woman in Blue: [And Maduro], he’s lying to the people saying that there’s food. There’s no food.
Woman in Orange: Here, in the Palo Verde Bicentenario, they’re mocking us… this is an insult.
Woman in Black and White: We want change! We want change here.
[Off-Screen]: We want food. This can’t be fixed by the opposition or the chavistas… we want answers.
Woman in Black and White Tank Top: This didn’t used to be like this. This wasn’t like this. Now it’s worse than ever. And they [the government] say, “We have [food] containers!” Where are they?
Woman in Purple and Black Sweater: We lived better during the Fourth Republic [before Chavez came to power] because we had food.
Cameraman: What did you buy today, my friend?
Man in Black and Red Cap: Two [bags] of coffee and [children’s fortified nutritional beverage].
Woman in Orange: That’s all there is. Show it. And tomorrow, when you come to buy this, there won’t be any left because they’ve taken it all.
Woman in Yellow: The people are hungry. It’s time for a solution. Please fix this now.
Woman in Yellow and White Stripes: There’s no chicken. So what can we give our children? There’s no milk, no sugar. Where’s the food? They [the government] say the people have food. Where is it? The opposition isn’t paying [me to say this?]. The government is to blame for how things are. We’ve had enough. Two, five in the morning out on the street, so we can get killed and robbed? That can’t be. We need a solution for this. This is enough. We’re tired. We buy a little dove [meaning, a really small chicken], and how many days should that last us? We can’t. We can’t with what they’re giving us. This is enough — it’s 1:00 PM [and we’ve been here] since 3:00 AM. This isn’t fair. This is humiliating.
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