Construction down dramatically

March 30, 2004

Yesterday I received an e-mail where someone was coming to Venezuela to defend Hugo Chavez who has been defending the rights of people to housing, among many wonderful things it said about our President. I found the sentence amazingly ignorant, but today local newspaper El Universal carried this graph, based on official statistics that almost made me want to cry:

This is the total number of residential units built in Venezuela by both the public and the private sector. Last year, the number was less than nine thousand. I remember than in 1968 Rafael Caldera ran for President and one of his main campaign promises was that he would build 100,000 housing units per year. He never did, but the barrel of oil was less than $2 at the time and he actually came close. Construction has not only traditionally been one of the main drivers of the Venezuelan economy, but it also employs lots of people.

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