second time in two weeks, President Chavez has become exasperated by the lack
of execution on his projects. Two weeks ago, Chavez was handing out funding for
projects and twice he had to correct himself because he was making
announcements from the notes given to him which were incorrect. He praised the
projects of a Governor who had no projects that day and he pointed out that
they were giving funds to a Mayor from opposition party Acción Democrática, who
took offense at being told that and publicly corrected the President. Chavez
was visibly upset that day and publicly commented that those around him could
not even give him the right information.
was the turn for “Mision Vivienda” Chavez’ housing program, which Chavez said
would build 120,000 housing units in 2005,
which would be four times more housing units that the Chavze Government has
been able to build in any given year.
housing units can not be invented and the Mision Vivienda is so far a failure, with only 10,000 units
being built in the first five months of the year, less than 8% of the
goal. Chavez said today that he was
declaring this Mision in an emergency and he said he would accept no excuses.
not new; the infamous program to eliminate poverty has not even been presented.
In contrast with many programs like the alphabetization or other misiones, the
housing program can be measured. Those around Chavze made promises that are not
materializing. The approval of the mortgage bill has not been the panacea that
was promised as prices are high for those than can have access to the cheaper
rates and there are too many rules to be eligible with some of them conflicting
with each other.
that it is good that Chavez is noticing the problem and trying to do something
about it. He surrounds himself with people who only suck up to him and have
little managerial experience. But he is also to blame; he likes to invent too
many new grandiose projects leaving many things aside and doing little follow
up or without the competent managers around him to do the follow up.
case of the housing project, it was a newspaper reporter who took the time to
find out how many exactly had been built and published the results. Other
projects are more difficult to quantify or people forget the goals, but in this
case, there may be a lesson for the Chavez administration going forward: They
have been governing for seven years and Chavez popularity rides more on the
back of expectations than accomplishments. These same polls also indicate that
people are getting restless, realizing that Chavez has been in power long enough
to stop blaming the past. It is time to deliver;
Chavez seems to be getting that message now.