While Hugo Chavez expropriates housing projects his own remain abandoned

November 9, 2010

As the Chavez administration takes over middle class apartment buildings in order to score points with the Venezuelan middle class, the truth is that it has failed to complete ots won projects, such as the picture above of a development in Vargas State, which sits abandoned, buildings already crumbing, despite the sign that hails “Welcome to anew project by the Bolivarian revolution”

The problem is that this project is part of the Vargas Plan 2005, an ambitious development plan for Vargas State, the most pro-Chavez one in the Nation, which was suppose to build some 13,000 apartments for the residents of that State. Only 230 of them have been completed.

This is the same Government that took over apartment complexes that were almost finished as a way of promoting its won image among the middle class. Sadly, they have been partially successful. Because there have indeed been abuses by the private construction sector, some induced by the ban of selling apartments indexed to inflation, but in the end the truth is the Government does even worse than the private sector. not only has the Government not completed these projects in Vargas, losing money and leaving them abandoned, but there are many others all over the place in the same condition. Because in the end the Government has become such a central part of all activities, that it is also failing at being a regulator. Thus, in the end it “intervenes”, “expropriates” and “takes over”, where it should be imposing penalties and regulating.

But it is all a matter of style. “Intervening” sounds threatening and ominous, exactly the image wants to convey. At the same time it sound bold and powerful, exactly what the Government wants the middle class to think. But in the end, it is all a war of words. In six months, the building projects will remain abandoned, forgotten in the same foggy cloud where most bold Chavista projects lie.

But perversely, many will keep a positive image of all these announcements. The image of a Government that cares for the people. A Government ready to step in and defend their rights. Unfortunately, their rights are being trampled once again when they are led to believe this has any meaning in their future.

In the end, it is actually the opposite. The private sector is more efficient than the Government despite all of its problems. But now that it feels and is threatened, it will simply stop building and investing which goes precisely against the goals of all middle class Venezuelans to own their own home.

The perverse thing is that it works in the end. These actions do give the Government popularity despite their overall negative effect. Proving once again, how populism can be successful even after a decade of failures.

16 Responses to “While Hugo Chavez expropriates housing projects his own remain abandoned”

  1. mick Says:

    It seems like Venezuelans were so disappointed in the corruption of past governments that they are willing to give Hugo free rein simply because he keeps acknowledging them with promises.

    He is leading them down the toilet and they follow, because they have no one else to follow.

  2. geronl Says:

    Siezed unfinished projects will be left unfinished and finished apartments that get siezed will either go to favored henchmen or become ghetto.

  3. An Interested Observer Says:

    Follow this link: http://www.fondur.gov.ve/ for something remarkably appropriate. It’s the website for the agency which, according to the sign in the picture, is responsible for the project.

    Who says there’s no truth in the Venezuelan government? (Almost none, but seeing the website, no one can say none. At least until they take down the site.)

  4. Kepler Says:

    Thanks, Gringo. You know, I think the alternative forces should use those numbers with pictures. Venezuelans on average don’t read at all (but for a message from the chama). Give them a picture: so many houses before Hugo, so little houses since his robolution started.

    The weird thing: Maduro had to go back to Belarus right after coming back. I read some articles in the Belorussian press that makes me believe Chávez is nervous. It does happen that Belorussians were to build 5000 houses in 2008 and now they are suppose to build 4000. All rubbish. But meanwhile, Venezuelans did build some houses in MALI!

    One thing few people mention now is that in virtually every construction site these days you have to pay to some mafiosi who claim to be “del sindicato”. If you don’t do that they can use physical violence, etc. This is the norm now.

  5. Gringo Says:

    The main reason for rising housing prices in Venezuela is that the housing deficit has exploded during 11 years of Chavez. The construction of housing units per capita under Chavez is less than half of what it was in the decade before.
    It is elementary economics that a shortage of an item will raise its price. But then no one accused Thugo of knowing anything about economics.
    From: El Universal in 2009 [my translation]

    In 10 years of the government of Hugo Chávez Frías, the annual per capita rate for construction of housing units was 1.5 housing units per 1,000 inhabitants. From 1989 to 1998, 3.3 housing units per 1,000 units were constructed, and between 1979 and 1988, the rate was 4.9 housing units constructed per 1,000 inhabitants. [This is for public + private construction.]

    There was a good summary of housing construction done in 2006, but I haven’t found a more up-to-date equivalent of similar quality : El Déficit y la Producción Formal de Viviendas Fecha: 2006-08-05. El Universal has had articles about housing construction, but when I have checked at CVC, I haven’t found a similar article done more recently.

    Click to access CEVIHAB.pdf

  6. loroferoz Says:

    Demagogic. Populist. Authoritarian. The first impression from knowing what you just posted about expropriations and the government’s own projects.

    Corrupt and Militaristic. A second impression, just from looking at the way this government conducts it’s business.

    This hollow farce of a government needs no further description.

    This hollow mask that wants to pass for a President needs no further description.

    Oil money, corruption and chutzpah trying to pass for a project and an ideology.

  7. Kepler Says:

    That’s fine, but I would say: black on black is not precisely readable. Then: it would be nice if the information is placed with as little text as possible. Just a picture or a sentence and a link, to get the the relationship between the different things, to see the scope.

    It would have to be something different than a blog where we write and write.

    A simple site from Google would do, a couple of frames left and right with a page for each main domain: promesas de vivienda
    (y si se baja uno ve: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, etc)

  8. Maria Gonzalez Says:


    Por supuesto yo me referia a un periodico o otro medio de comunicacion, pero aqui hay un blogero que ha resumido algunos casos


  9. Maria Gonzalez Says:

    Well do not worry, I just find this interview of el Sr. Nicolas Maduro. El gobierno otra vez promete echarle el pecho a la construccion the vivienda. Let’s save this link for the future


  10. island canuck Says:

    The threats of this government against private business have virtually dried up all investment.

    Who in their right mind would invest when the threat of government takeover hangs over your head.

    The answer, of course, are those connected to the government who are floating on a sea of stolen bolivares. The only buyers or investors we see or hear about these days are people connected to the “process”.

    Ira: there are at least 5,200,000 brain dead people in this country. A country of zombies.

  11. Ira Says:

    Is Vargas really the most pro-Chavez state in the country? How can that be, after the mudslides?

    DId everyone with brains leave then, and only the brain-dead left behind?

  12. Robert Fraser Says:

    Has anyone ever doumented all of Chavez’s promises such as oil refineries for other countries, power projects within Venezuela, housing projects, in effect any promise he has made and then which ones were actually completed or even started. He gives away stuff every week on Alo Presidente or at least syas he is . What is the truth the actual numbers?. How much woudl al this cost if he actualy did it?

  13. Kepler Says:


    I hope someone comes forward.
    It should be mostly ordering the links and putting some frames-looking pages:

    – abandoned projects
    – corruption affairs

  14. Maria Gonzalez Says:

    Somebody should document how many of the chavistas projects have been abandoned.

  15. Glenn Says:

    Is there a chance the lack of private investment can lead to a shortage in the private housing market and drive prices up, thereby making the middle class private home owners “feel” wealthier?

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