Photo: Verifikado

Last month, Barquisimeto journalist Brian Vidal wrote a report for local newspaper El Impulso (only digital, because Newsprint-geddon), speaking of a communal council allegedly implementing a survey of unoccupied houses to move people in, as part of a presumed government plan “Ubica tu Casa” (Locate your Home). The piece says that no official entity had confirmed, at the time, the existence of such a plan to begin with.

The piece got the attention of the chavista-controlled State Legislative Council (CLEL), which formed a special committee to investigate the report and subpoenaed Vidal.

(Note: State Legislative Councils are useless, but I’ll leave that rant for another day.)

On June 25, Vidal went downtown and met with the CLEL special committee, which gave him a questionnaire and berated him for doing his work: “They rejected the relevance of my sources, taking the matter as a gossip rather than a complaint. They catalogued the article as an instigation to violence and hatred among Venezuelans.”

He insists these threats won’t intimidate him.

But this latest incident highlights the fact that the so-called “Ubica Tu Casahas turned into an issue that began as a rumor, and has grown into something more complicated, even if high-ranking chavistas like Pedro Carreño and Diosdado Cabello have vehemently denied it.

The piece got the attention of the chavista-controlled State Legislative Council (CLEL), which formed a special committee to investigate the report and subpoenaed Vidal.

A couple of weeks earlier, an incident in La Mora (near Cabudare) involving a person who had leased her home to a local businessman, and the court-supported attempt to evict him, became tense when the “Ubica Tu Casa” excuse was used to avoid compliance by the tenant — who, by the way, also threatened the house owner.

The first signs of the alleged plan became known in social networks right after the May 20 “election,” creating concerns in those who already left the country but still own real estate in Venezuela. The lack of an official response provoked the Venezuelan Real Estate Chamber to publish a statement.

“In the wake of news reports and messages on social networks displaying concerns about visits by unidentified individuals to unoccupied houses,” the text reads, “the Venezuelan Real Estate Chamber exhorts the national government to explain if those activities are part of an official policy.”

At the time, the Habitat and Housing Ministry hasn’t offered a formal response to the request.

Without clear information by the proper authorities on this, and other issues, the work of local journalists like Mr. Vidal is more relevant (and necessary) today than ever. He’s being publicly scolded by government officials, and could even face charges.

He has our full solidarity and support during this, Venezuelan journalism’s darkest hour.

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.

13 COMMENTS

  1. “No vale, no lo creo,” that this Govt., if given a chance, will do the same as Cuba’s/Allende’s, especially with millions who have emigrated/left homes/apts./real estate they were unable/unwilling to sell at giveaway prices….

  2. Renters are near-impossible to evict in Venezuela. The traditional tactic to successfully evict an uncooperative tentant was to use the house/builiding as “collateral” for a loan, and then default on the loan.

    • invaders are just the same, i can tell you from experience.

      There is no eviction currently under venezuelan law, you are suppose , literally, to procure a shelter for the person who is getting evicted. Like, if you can`t find a house for the person invading your private property to live in then he gets to live for free in there as long as the invader wants. If you change the locks or something, guess who is going to jail, spoiler alert : You, not the invader. Police come to forcefully remove you from your property and put the invader back in.

  3. Everyone knows this Idea comes from the collectivos….they dont get paid…they dont move for the Regime….is fact.
    This is the payment…and the Regime will deny deny deny……a little birdy from Janary 23 …and many others speak of it…….this will catch on…then they will attack houses with occupants…there is no money to pay anymore…the barrios are starving also…….which is funny…because i was able to purchase in bulk…thru a third party…20 kl black beans..25 kl rice..20 kl pasta….10 kl harina pan…3 gls oil…..80$ US….
    Even the Barrios are diverting for Dollars

  4. The act of journalism requires incredible bravery in Venezuela, and it is good that you and Caracas Chronicles expose the regime’s abuse to a broader, global audience. Not just in general, but with a human face.

    • people know of the abuse, thats been broadly covered, what they fail to realize is that it was true socialism that causes this. Expropiations and invasions are all marxist plan. but first world leftists deny it and make up bullshit excuses that they know other dumb leftists wont ever truly research to fact check.

      You would know, as canada is full of those. people who say things like “all industry in venezuela in on private hands so its their fault” and “is not real socialism “

  5. The fact that they are going to such lenghts to keep the plan quiet (putting a journalist in jail draws a lot of attention ) suggests that they are aware of the drawbacks that it has in its capacity to hurt its image …..!! If they really wanted to go whole hog on implementing the plan they would be less cautious about it getting known….

  6. Redistributing abandoned homes sounds right out of the Chavista game plan. The Chavistas get to reward their followers and probably enriching themselves through pay offs for these dwellings. I can imagine a program extension whereby political opponents would simply forfeit their houses. This is the time while the opposition is dysfunctional and the population distracted for the Chavistas to reach for the full revolution. I think home seizures are an element of a Chavista full revolution. I would regard this scenario as likely.

    • many apartments in my building are already invaded or occupy by tenants who by chavista law cannot be evicted and havent paid a dime to the owners in years.

      this have been happening for years, many people have lost their properties to invaders already

  7. It is no rumour nor gossip. Red shirted people from comunas already came to my residence complex asking the condominio for lists. Allegedly (according to condominio people) they send them off empty handed and the chavistas threaten them to be prepared for when they come back with the military so they raised the alarm to neightbors in the meeting asking people to be prepared for it.

    They are not straight up about it because they are obviously in the logistics phase and gathering information and setting the people up for action, but it will happen, 100% certain, they will unleash the massive invasion as soon it is all set.

  8. I don’t understand why Chavistas would want to hide this news. They should proudly own it. This is how socialism/communism works. If you have power over other’s people, you take their stuff. Damn straight. You dont like that your stuff was taken? You better be thankful they did not simply kill you. That’s how it works. See, e.g., USSR or Cuba. Private property rights is a bourgeoisie concept created by evil white racist people, or something like that.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here