G.M.V.V. Chronicles

Gran Misión Vivienda Venezuela: The Chavernment mission that keeps on giving buildings… and problems.

Last month, after two years of waiting in shelters, 96 displaced families were given the keys of their brand new apartments in a new tower built in Western Caracas, as part of the Gran Misión Vivienda Venezuela program.

What could possibly go wrong?

Well… the 16-story building has no elevator, the electrical system is faulty, the trash ducts were yet not installed and several apartments have water leaks.

Still, the owners are thankful to the comandante presidente and feel fortunate… as other displaced are still waiting for their homes. Some of them keep protesting while others are simply resigned to a grim life in the improvised shelters.

The G.M.V.V. has set a big goal of delivering 380.000 houses for 2013 and State media covers the giveaway of new homes every Thursday, known as Jueves de Vivienda.

But once the flashy coverage is over, the problems appear: finished constructions with questionable quality, delays and irregularities with workers and enviromental violations.

Another issue that has surged is that neighbors in the new GMVV housing complexes sometimes don’t get along, and conflicts ensue. Sometimes, they end with violence.

However, the Chavernment is so proud of the G.M.V.V. that they admitted it’s an electoral ploy, as the head of the Capital District Jacqueline Faria said in an assembly with residents of inaugurated buildings in the Caracas sector of El Paraíso.

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  1. Good lord, they’re complaining about sleeping on thin mattresses on the floor? I’d just be grateful for not sleeping under the highway. And those appliances are missing because they were diverted to swing districts during the election!

    • What would our government do without capitalism? We’re probably more capitalists now than ever in our history, like it or not yoyo, we’ve never been a socialist country, that’s the true, the only thing keeping the charade going is the absurd price of oil.

          • Firstly it was a prediction, not a threat. Secondly I was talking about the capitalist opposition as a serious political movement, not any individual or group of persons.

            You have to improve your comprehension skills. It was only the other week when you thought I was comparing your writing of a blog post to murder, when in fact I was comparing it to hearing voices.

          • I second the motion. This yoyo is simply a provocateur with too much time on his hands. We have been patient enough. I’d block him off completely.

      • Because there are neither the materials available nor the funds to build at the rate they suggest. I don’t even think they can match the rate of population growth. There will always be a housing shortage.

    • Sure. I predict that eventually the barrios will have full utilities and amenities, easy transport in and out, and a vibrant young population enjoying the spectacular views.

      • yoyo,
        I want to see what you say come true, I think the current strategies will not lead to that. Specially because hipsters are not really into crazy barrio murder drug traffickers. They like coffee that takes a long time to be served, organic produce, mexican food, fixie bikes and typewriters. Right now I don’t see any chance of having hipsters in the barrios. Not very fond of hipsters myself. But I assume you are thinking of a young vibrant culture.

        There has been a ton of work invested by notorious architects in the “humanization” of barrios. Many of them award winning Venezuelans. Sadly, they haven’t had any support what so ever due to preferring loyalty over competence.

        Some slums may have the potential to become something like “El Albaicin” in Granada. But you don’t get there by constructing poorly built soviet style housing blocks in a rush. Right now you seem to be completely delusional.

        • Most housing blocks are well-constructed, but you wouldn’t know by reading CC. That’s the distortion which makes you all so under-informed.

          The current strategy to regenerate the barrios is to build transport infrastructure and social spaces, increase disposable incomes, improve security and education.

          Give it 20 years and things will look very different.

          • Thanks for giving us the lowdown on the barrios yoyo. Here’s a suggestion: why don’t we expropriate the properties held by the Chavez family and their generals, move in all the folks currently living nearby in the Juan Pablo II slum, and turn the properties into hipster villages where they make organic queso de mano and drink single source guayoyo coffee? The Belorussian tourists will come in droves.

          • The hipsters will come in when everybody has their own apartment or house. You might even fancy a place at the top of the hill with a balcony, having come back from Europe or the US because everything collapsed there.

          • Really? You all are debating with somebody who is saying that the State can solve everyone’s housing needs? What a waste of time… makes me want to shut down the comments section altogether.

          • However fast, and it’s quite slowly things might be worsening in the US or Europe, rest assured they are collapsing even faster in Venezuela.

          • Speaking on behalf of the Belorussian government, we’ll send our young ‘hipsters’ to your hot new tourist spot only if you supply us with free oil? Deal?

          • What strikes you as wrong with the building that you can discern just by looking at it? I’m genuinely curious.

    • The trolls marketing of a warped reality has gained a fierceness over the past 45 days, while Chávez lies in Cuba. As such, I cannot but conclude that these trolls are not your average pie-in-the-sky political romantics, but rather, Cubanoid agents.

  2. Have you seen at the movies the 5-10min spot from Funvisis about earthquakes? Narrated by the all-loved Porfirio Torres, this spot predicts Caracas is waiting for an earthquake in a short period. And I don’t know with which intention, but when it’s explaining the faulty construction quality of houses, a very huge and shinning G.M.V.V. building is shown on the background. Dust to the eye of the Chaverment, or on the contrary are they so bold as claiming this buildings are secure?

    • I experienced the 1967 earthquake in Caracas, and I remember seeing the imploded buildings in Altamira (due to construction without anti-seismic protection), as well as reading about the number who were killed. (I knew one little girl who perished.) The episode had an impact on me to the point that I still remember reading about the recurrence of seismic activity in the region. It’s considered to happen about every 50 years. That means, four more years to go, grosso modo.

      With reports of shoddy construction, rushed timing and curtailed costs due to an electoral onset (recently confirmed by Farias), I can’t imagine the GMVV high-rises surviving a jolt above 6.0 on the Richter scale, lasting over 30 seconds, or one that’s at a lower intensity but of longer duration.

      The only other earthquake with a personal connection was the one in Cúa, in 1878, where several members of my family were killed.

      So unlike the petulant flights of fancy of yoyo et al, who live in a rose-colored twilight zone, the quality of construction to appease socialist politics is very real and very dangerous. Or perhaps yoyo doesn’t really give a damn about the lives of those who live far from his cushy world.

    • The “perfect storm” would be a period of torrential rain followed by a strong long earthquake. I do not even want to think about the possible outcome…

  3. 380,000 houses a year. That is over 1,000 houses per day. Ok, this building holds 96 families. Where are the other 904 houses this day? They have to have finish ten of these buildings each and every day. That would be 3,958 buildings of this size in a year.

    Is this possible? Can the water, sewers, parking, roads be planned and in place? Are there enough sinks, toilets, windows and security bars, cement, refrigerators, doors. How about 4,000 elevators for the buildings? Given the scale of corruption in Venezuela, I doubt that 50 of the building will be finished. And those will go to select Chavistas.

    Is the Chavista government out of its frickin mind. And who believes them and why?

  4. The government had/has a chance to things right, but instead take the cheap route. Given the fact that Caracas and northern Venezuela are on a plate boundary that is seismically active, any new high rise construction should be built accordingly. Also it is/was a chance for the government to implement and showcase new ‘green’ technology including the vertical agriculture that Chavez has talked about. Instead you have a shoddy building without an elevator. Hope there are no major earthquakes in the next 50 years.


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