You say inefficiency, I say "media conspiracy"

“El Águila Parcelaria”, a sculpture of Valencia’s open-air museum is now abandoned to its fate

Valencia’s open-air museum (one of two still functioning in Venezuela) has been left unattended by local authorities. Even if the current management did some work there three years ago, the entire infrastructure now lacks maintenance, and it shows.

Some of the scuptures are damaged and someone even tried to steal one of them.

What’s the official response? It’s all a “media conspiracy”, nothing more.

The practice of blaming everyday problems on “evil plots” is not longer reserved to higher echelons of the Chavernment. After all, the current economic woes are seen by Nicolas Maduro as part of “an economic war against the transition to socialism”.

It’s not surprising that current Mayor of Valencia Edgardo Parra simply toes the party line. His reputation precedes him.

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  1. The disappearance and abandonment of public space under the chavernment is a lamentable trend. It particularly hurts kids, particularly kids whose parents lack the resources to belong to a private club, or whose boli-bureaucrat parents get a club membership as a work benefit.

    • Exactly. For example, parents are now facing the problem of paying a lot of money to private parks to hold their kids birthday parties there or not having parties at all, given that their houses or apartments are not suited to have many children playing around.

  2. I want to point out that there are some public spaces that have been rescued in the recent years. El Parque El Calvario, Boulevard de Sabana Grande, downtown Caracas around the Plaza Bolivar, to name some that come to mind. I don’t know if there are more in other cities or towns. People may say they were left abandoned by the same government for years (and I add also by pre-Chavernment as well), but the fact is they are quite nice spaces to visit now. Public spaces is not a priority for the Chavernment, obviously, but there are some good things done in that regard.

    • That is nice to know. I have not visited those places in the last four years or so. In the cities and towns I am familiar with, public parks are places to throw your trash or urinate. In the last few years, there has been an explosion of gated communities, such that you can now travel through vast corridors of a city and see only walls, and the occasional armed entrance. Previously open access communities are being walled up, so public roads frequently hit dead ends with a gate. Public transport is a disaster and sidewalks impassable, so you have the remarkable phenomenon of entire families of up to four people (babies and kids) being shuttled around, helmetless, on moto-taxis. Kids grow up not ever having ridden around a neighbourhood on a bicycle, though they know how to travel on the internet. It comes down to lack of security and public planning. In my view, the bolivarian socialist creed sees public goods as opportunities to make a personal buck on the side, nothing more nothing less. It is the worst sort of “capitalism”, because it is outside any rules. Public parks are not opportunities for vast self-enrichment by bureaucrats, so they are ignored.

      • I agree with what you say. The lack of proper urban planning is reflected at all levels, the Misión Vivienda and the private developments too. Guarenas-Guatire ‘s growth is a perfect example of a horrible unsustainable urban growth, all closed ghettos not contrubuting to the efficiency of the public services, public transportation or creation of community as urban living should.
        I do recommend paying a visit to El Calvario any saturday morning, is a beautiful park. Since I remember, it was abandoned and so dangerous it was impossible to visit. It’s been fixed, there is security, and is a complete surprise to find that place in the middle of the chaos that is El Centro and Av. Baralt. Lovely vistas, and a nice cafe on top. Same with Plaza Bolivar and Sabana Grande.

        • I can’t believe it! I will have to see it. On my first and last visit to El Calvario all I could think was: they got the name right.


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