On Friday the 13th, two days before the regional elections, Nicolás Maduro appeared en cadena from Ciudad Bolívar, giving out the house number 1,800,000, under the Gran Misión Vivienda Venezuela. The event was to award professional athletes and their families apartments, built on land donated by the military. What’s that show like up close?

Well, families are taken by bus to the housing development at 9 a.m. They stayed there waiting for eight hours, until the president arrived at 5pm, in a bulletproof SUVs. The team makes sure to hand out apartment keys so families can lift them for the cameras. But no food or drink is provided, and when the cameras finally appear, everyone is sweaty and tired, especially the children.

The audience is organized hierarchically:

The fat military officials sit in front. Here they all had the latest iPhones, and you could hear the distinctive message tone coming from them during Nicolás’ speech.

The next row belongs to managers of Guayana’s basic industries; most of them are exactly like the guys in the front-row.

Then come the athletes and their families, the people the event is supposed to be for. There were six families in total here (just six), with name tags, so the president can address them by name. It’s all improvised, and folks just smile and nod at what the president says.

The fat military officials sit on front. Here they all had the latest iPhones, and you could hear the distinctive message tone coming from them during Nicolás’ speech.

Lastly, there are those who aren’t receiving anything and just make a crowd. Several are workers of the Ciudad Guayana’s basic industries, sent here during working hours.

This group has the most devoted chavistas. They sing the chants and ask the president for help when the cameras point their way with written messages ready for delivery, in case they get close. Two “model families” are taken to the complex’s entrance, to receive Maduro and Cilia (one of the men wore a blue cap, quickly replaced with a red one that had “1.800.000” printed on it).

And when Maduro starts talking, it all gets repetitive. He blames everything on the economic war, criticizes the opposition governors for not constructing houses, and approves resources for urban projects.

“We have demonstrated that chavismo knows how to govern. Only we know how to do this!”

I even caught an electoral crime that might help Andrés Velásquez’ case, when Nico promotes Justo Noguera (en cadena), even recognizing he isn’t allowed to do so. While smiling.

There was also the infamous “Venezuela is Venezuela, screwed but happy.”

After unveiling a plaque honoring his efforts in fulfilling the Supreme Commander’s dream, Maduro dances calypso with the band. Why not?

That Friday, there was a model apartment prepared. It was the only suite actually finished, and had the basic furniture: kitchen, fridge, dining table. It didn’t come with pictures of Chávez, but his eyes are painted outside every building. All others apartments are missing ceramics, power plugs and, in some cases, even doors.

The family gets the apartment, anyway, and they thank Maduro. But, mind you, the key is a prop that doesn’t open anything and no contract is ever signed. So, after listening to Nico for two hours on empty stomachs, the families are sent home with their toy keys and the promise of a phone call that, one week later, still hasn’t come.

But, with a bit of luck, elections for mayors may come soon, so, you know, a contract might be signed then.

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  1. The swindle doesn’t end there, once the family is “awarded” their so-called socialist home, they’ll be subjected forever to the threat of either voting chavista for the rest of their lives or to be kicked out of the house at any midnight.

    Hell, that will even happen if they dare to displease the local ubch or battle front or pupusv honchos in ANY way.

    • And, frequently, the plumbing will soon cease working, walls will crack, crime will soon infest the building, etc.-it happens even in Ciudad Tiuna, the Caracas Fuerte Tiuna main military base, where Gran Mision Vivienda has constructed Pueblo housing buildings.

  2. “Jodidos pero felices”–truth in advertising, at least for 20% of the population. It’s about time that someone wrote about the GMV farce–Espana’s UCAB socio-economic studies put the real number of Chavista housing units constructed at less than a third or so of those claimed, as I recall….

  3. Carlos, thanks for your terming the over-fed fat cats as “owners” of the basic industries (steel/aluminum/et. al.), when they’re really only PSUV enchufado administrators of State-owned entities, but acting as the worst possible rapacious owners stripping their industries of every asst available.

    • The difference is an owner doesn`t benefit at all from that behaviour.

      Why strip a company that already cost you a shit ton of money when your best interest is to reap benefits from the production?

      That is not the logic from bureucrats, they simple get appointed to a pile of free money with no presonal incentive to have that company producing, since is losing money anyways and living off subsidies. They burn it to the ground, sell everything and put those dollars on the caiman islands. A one off operation. And the public has to make due without the products that company produced and the employees have to make due without a job.

      “redistribution of wealth” achieved

  4. It used to be like lining up for clap bags when cement arrived at the local ferreteria every few weeks. Now it doesn’t arrive at all. After selling eggs and bread for a month or two because nothing else could be found, the ferreteria finally shut down. Construction has come to a grinding halt, the dozen or so locals who were making and selling cement cinder blocks have all ceased operations, and the albanils now work as dirt farmers growing vegetables along the river.

    But everyone is so pleased with the economy that they tuned out in force to Maduro’s call to defend the patria. Yeah, that’s what happened. Really.

    • MRubio-

      I can’t quite do the translation justice, but my local pastor gave me the gringo version.

      “Ya don’t say…”

      The more modern version of this is now coined “Captain Obvious”.

      Chavistas not telling the truth and covering up lies with more lies. “Who’d a thunk it”

  5. To change the subject, I read message that Mad Ernie is going to India. He’s always going somewhere, No need his bulletproof SUVs in India. Maybe to talk about the shit that PVSVA sends to India (at reduced volumes). Or is he going to set coke network (opiates is still the substance in choice in India.

    Or maybe he wants visit the slums in Mumbai and a give away a key to somebody to move into an apartment in Ciudad Bolívar.

    • Every millionaire leftist in the US needs to take a sabatic and use all their leisure time to go to India, so they can meditate and be all deep about other people`s poverty.

      Is like a trope since the 60s.

  6. Well, he is right. Only they know how to do this.

    If by this you mean transforming the biggest oil boom in history into unprecedented misery.

  7. Potemkim Village, Chavista style.

    OT – the Bolivar to USD exchange rate just topped 40,000 on Dolar today. The economic war continues!

    • When it crossed 30K, there was discussion regarding if it would reach 60K before end of the year. At this rate we’ll be there before the end of November!


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