Zulimar Hernandez is a 46-year old Venezuelan who works as a secretary and lives with her two children in a rented house in the slum Los Magallanes de Catia (west of Caracas). She has lived in a rented house for 10 years and has suffered the usury of those who take advantage of the need of those who cannot buy a home. But Zulimar knows it’s time to change her situation and buy a house, “because President Chavez worries about it and is committed to the people.”
“This mission is a hope for my family and I to live in a home. I have faith and trust the process, because the word of our President is important and I know that he will do the right thing for all Venezuelans,” she says referring to the Great Housing Mission Venezuela, whose registration was launched on May Saturday 7. After several days of the initial registration 145,000,837 families enrolled, which is about 500,000 people.
People Answered the Mission’s Call
The massive attendance at registration, authorized by the Bolivarian government throughout the country, is evidence that the people’s trust in President Chavez’s word continues to resist the toughest tests of asymmetric warfare against Venezuela.
“I heard Chavez’s proposal and saw the announcement in the news and did not hesitate to come to register because it’s the President’s commitment to grant us adequate housing,” says Ramírez Marineli after she registered in the Mission in the Plaza Bolivar of Caracas.
This mother has lived in Catia for 47 years and works in a private company. The house where she lives with her six children was affected by landslides caused by the heavy rains.
Colombian Angel Marchan (63) is a graphic artist who has lived in Venezuela for 40 years. His wife and two children live with him in a friend’s house in the Baralt Avenue (downtown Caracas). Mr Marchan says “the faith in the revolutionary process was my biggest inspiration to enrol in this mission, I am a revolutionary. I am convinced that the goals will be achieved and we will all benefit from this program.”
“This is a country full of opportunities and I have experienced that, as a people we have a voice and a vote, our needs are satisfied. The Great Housing Mission is not going to be the exception, because a roof is critical for the safety and welfare of human beings and that is exactly what Chavez wants, when he says he wants the greatest possible happiness for the people,” he explains.
To meet the goal of constructing two million homes from 2011-2017, the Bolivarian government has estimated the need of 34,000,793 hectares. President Hugo Chavez has announced that they already have 7,800 hectares to meet the needs of 2011 and 2012. Once the national registry ends, new land throughout the country will be available for the executive to register it as multifamily property, as stipulated in the Law of Housing Ownership of the Great Housing Mission Venezuela. These lands include:
- Lote Fuerte Tiuna I (Capital District), 82 acres.
- Estation Cua (Miranda)-543 acres
- Charallave-north (Miranda) – 200 acres.
- Next to Ciudad Zamora (Miranda)- 237 acres.
- Lomas de Guadalupe (Miranda)- 387 acres.
- The Triplex, road-Ocumare Santa Teresa del Tuy (Miranda), 123 acres.
- Playa Grande (Vargas) -64 acres.
- City Caribia (Vargas)- 1,037acres.
- Base Libertador (Aragua)-224 acres.
- Base Aragua (Aragua)-37 acres.
- The Vineyard (Anzoátegui)-303 acres.
- Refining Complex Jose (Anzoátegui), 397 acres.
- Yucatán (Lara), 207 acres.
- Costa Oriental del Lago (Zulia),1,878 acres.
The effort to find suitable land to build on will be intensified, given the amount of people have regustered. It is noteworthy that of the 153,000 homes to be built this year, 40,000 will be granted to the people’s power (Community Councils and Communities) by the Brigades of Socialist Labour. In order to achieve this, they have $7 million (Bs 3,032,470,036).
While the Venezuelan housing Mission continues, more and new houses are handed over to displaced people. Noel de Luque is one of the 432 people who have benefited. After living in Bolívar, Barinas and Zulia states without owning a house, he arrived in Caracas to fight cancer.
“I am recovering thanks to the revolution. I joined a Communal Council here in Baruta to work as a collective and I was chosen. Imagine my emotion because a house is the greatest possible happiness for human beings,” said Luque.
Noel will share his apartment (featuring 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen and living room) with his mother and cousin. He tells people who are waiting for a house in shelters to register for the housing mission.
“Believe in our Commander. Believe that the only solution is socialism. Not capitalism. We can achieve it but we have to fight,” he says.
On the Mother’s Day eve, Melania Rondón also received the keys of this home, where she will live with two of her seven sons, her granddaughter and two great-grandchildren.
“I have many good things,” she said to President Chávez when she registered in the mission on April 30 when it was launched. “God bless you and guide you on a good path. Long live socialism. I love you very much. My family is happy. Everyone is happy,” she added during a live broadcast from her new apartment.