The crisis takes its toll


January 13th, 2008: The late comandante presidente orders the elimination of all tolls in Venezuelan roadways (then under the control of state governorships), blasting them for being “an assault by the capitalist system,” and threatening to use the Army if necessary. He believed that their purpose of collecting money for road maintenance was not being kept.

January 4th, 2015: Almost seven years later, Nicolas Maduro confirms his earlier announcement that 71 road tolls would be reactivated. He points out that they would be returned to whom he calls as “true, hard-working governors”.

History comes full circle: What once was seen as an ideological blasphemy is brought back as a desperate measure of pure fiscal necessity. The fact that the tollbooths are returning to the states is the way the central government is telling them “Don’t ask us for money. Hold on with this from now on.”  After all, the states depend on Caracas for almost everything.

But looks that States won’t get much anyway, as only cargo trucks will pay at the tolls. Everybody else still gets a free pass.

So, how are our roads after all these years? Not much better than before. And even some in Aporrea agree with this.

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  1. “He points out that they would be returned to whom he calls as “true, hard-working governors”.”

    So, Carabobo is not going to have any tolls at all?

    Jk, but chavistas flip-flopping when it’s convenient isn’t something new.

    • Carabobo has a chavista governor, the same one that ordered the militias out to shoot dead peaceful demonstrators in february 2014 .

  2. We are going to see more and more U turns, a clear recognition of all the bad decisions that Comandante Cósmico took… too little too late… they applaud him on live TV while he was destroying the Republic!!!

  3. The crisis takes its toll

    I was a little slow in realizing the pun here. Good job.
    The Chavernment will have to do some mighty improvising to deal with the downfall in revenue. It is a rather daunting task before you when you budget/wish for $150 oil and and the most recent price I saw was around $50. Maybe they can start charging an export tax on cocaine- as opposed to the standard mordida.

  4. Lo que me gusta del post es que no critica la medida, que a todas luces es necesaria. Ya es hora de que en las carreteras venezolanas se cobre por su uso.

    • Tolls in theory in Venezuela are good, but in practice they have rarely led to improved transport conditions due to widespread corruption at every level of collection/administration.

  5. In Brazil we had a similar situation, our southernmost state called Rio Grande do Sul used to have private companies tolling its highways, the highways were good and safe for Latin American standards, but then a Chavismo enthusiast called Tarso Genro was elected governor and removed most of the the tolls “because the highways belong to the people”, years later the highways are now nearly destroyed and the accident rate increased several times. Then the elections came last year and he lost his reelection. He received so few votes that he is talking about giving up on politics. The new governor assumed four days ago and is already saying that he will reactivate the tolls. LOL.

  6. In the case of the Miranda State, run by Capriles Radonsky, the toll money will be given to Corpomiranda a “private” company run by Elias Jaua, also a minister (of who knows what)


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