Hard-knock life in a "socialist city"


Not long ago, the Caracas housing complex known as Ciudad Caribia was being touted by the then-living comandante supremo as the model of a “21st Century socialist city”, but its brief existence has been pretty overwhelmed with problems since late 2006, when its construction began. Of the 20,000 planned apartments, only 1,666 have been delivered (with some unwanted flaws).

Almost two months ago, an incident between agents of the Bolivarian National Police and locals ended with one person dead and the destruction of the local PNB station by an angry mob. Since then, the National Guard has been in charge of security in the complex.

But there are other difficulties, as described in this recent report from Últimas Noticias. For example, it can take three hours of waiting in line for Ciudad Caribia’s inhabitants to enter the local Mercal. But only those lucky enough to get a number (either on a ticket or written in their arms) can buy a limited number of groceries.

Even if the residents of Ciudad Caribia are quite hopeful about their future, life over there ain’t easy. More so for those that dared to vote for Capriles in the last election.

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  1. Ciudad Caribia likely will never be even semi-finished–just another Chavez white elephant project. Conceived by Chavez whimsy in a helicopter overflight, built in part of the green “Zona Protectora” of Caracas, on seismic-prone land, mainly by Cubans, supposedly to be “auto-sustentable”, already costing $ billions in cost over-runs, will cost many $ billions more (which the Govt. doesn’t have) just to provide adequate water (now “like petroleo”,in words of plumber trying to correct the problem , coming through faulty plumbing from a nearby well), electricity, and transport, not including the many $ billions to needed to complete the 95%or so of housing units yet to be built.

  2. This is just additional information. The land on which Ciudad Caribia is built, belonged to an entity called: La Comunidad Tacagua. This entity was the result of the partneship of seven Caracas businessmen who decided to make a speculative play in the early 1940’s by buying most of the land separating the city of Caracas from its main maritime port and airport. The history of what happened between then and now or, when the land was expropriated by Chavez in 2006 should make for a good book describing what Venezuela is. Realismo magico total. The expropriation has never been cancelled. La Comunidad Tacagua today belongs to the inheritance or estate, of those seven original men. In all, they must add to around 70 persons, given the fact that there have been several deaths of the first line of inheritors. Many of the owners of those rights would be happy to receive their the money. But the loss of the real value of the original expropiation price is just huge and nobody will sue the government given that Venezuelan’s have lost the ability to defend their legitimate property and value rights. So on top of the in reality very sad and, underdeveloped world, story of Ciudad Caribia, you can add the fact that this community is built on stolen land.


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