The ability to lie and twist is legendary for the Chavista revolution. From illiteracy to oil production, facts are changed, twisted and massaged in order to fit what Chavez and the Government want to say they achieved, even if complete lies have to be said.
The latest is the new euphemism the Government has found for what constitutes building a new home. Given that the country’s problem is the shortage of housing, estimated at over 2.5 million housing units, a new home should be a newly built unit, until Chavez decided he wanted to build 150,000 housing units in 2011.
It was an impossible task from a Government that has never built more than 80,000 housing units in one year and given the fact that his “Mision Vivienda” was announced in April. But by the end of the year Chavez was talking about completing 94% of the goal and the year ended with an official number of 146,714 units built by the Government.
The number has been repeated so many times, that it has become the truth, even if nobody believes it. But this week, Minister of Oil and Energy Rafael Ramirez explained the “miracle”, Chavismo simply changed the definition. How? It now includes among new housing units built all rancho (shacks)”substitutions”.And it says that a whopping 45% of all the “new” units, were actually “substitutions”.
From what I have been able to understand, a “substitution” is the definition for a rancho (the type of elementary housing you see in the hills of Caracas) that has been upgraded in the materials that are used in its construction. Which means we have no idea what it really means.
Which also implies that we have no clue what it really meant when the Government claims to have built only 80, 692 new housing units, its best number in thirteen years, but still above other estimates.
So, maybe next time you drive by a barrio, look up and if you see a freshly painted rancho, you are seeing one such “substitution”. Not much change beyond that.
Another way of hiding the revolutions inability to do anything, just change the definition and the goal has been accomplished and Chavez is certainly pleased.
As it should be.