Read entire Guardian U.K. Article
Chávez tackles housing crisis by urging poor to squat wealthy parts of Caracas
Squatters wearing red T-shirts from Chávez's socialist party seized 20 spaces in a co-ordinated strike in the well-off Caracas municipality of Chacao last weekend, a move which shocked even some government supporters. Additional groups have targeted other cities.
......"The fundamental goal of socialism is to satisfy human needs … the needs of all, equally, without privilege," Chávez said in a television broadcast yesterday.
Opponents claim the government has failed to build enough houses over the past decade and has been offering "empty promises". Previous house-building deals with foreign allies reportedly produced just 10% of the promised number.
Emilio Grateron, mayor of Chacao, described Chávez's exhortation to seize supposedly unoccupied land as demagogic, and a move that would kill what little private investment remained. "There is irresponsible rhetoric without heed of the consequences. This is a very dangerous game."
The government has stepped up rural expropriations by deploying 1,600 troops at 47 farms in the western states of Merida and Zulia, claiming the farms were unproductive. The state has taken control of 2.5m hectares since Chávez gained power in 1999.
........Under Chávez the government has built fewer than 40,000 units a year – some say only 24,000 – in contrast to previous governments, which averaged 70,000. The president admits to problems but rejects accusations of incompetence and corruption. He has said that the rich keep all the best land, especially in the capital, but often leave it idle. The government has closed six golf courses and recently had its eye on the Caracas Country Club, saying thousands of poor families could be settled on its greens.
........"the middle-class cannot be an enemy of this democratic revolution". However, the government made clear the squatting would continue, saying the correct term was "occupation".
Even hotels have become skittish since being asked to host those displaced by the floods. They have obliged, but some proprietors now worry they will be the next industry to be nationalised.
Chacao's five-star Marriott hotel is hosting about 60 displaced families on its third and fourth floors. It has replaced doors with curtains and removed TVs, lamps and other fittings, but Maria Patino, 52, and her sister Blanca, 55, had no complaints. "We're supposed to use the service entrance and not go near the lobby, but we get treated well. Three meals a day, everything free," said Maria. .
"It [was] like being in the desert, and then you get to an oasis."
At the pace we are going it will be ironic to see the Country Club Obots who supported Obama have people camping out in their front yards. I wonder if they will put their "Yes We Can" signs up at that time?
Its just a matter of time..............................