Supermodel Naomi Campbell "Amazed" at Venezuelan Social Programs

Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez inaugurated the first stage of a new housing complex,
Commune Villa de Sol, in Caracas
yesterday. The president was accompanied by British supermodel Naomi Campbell
who was in the country to meet with Chavez and to learn about the Bolivarian
Revolution.

By Chris Carlson – Venezuelanalysis.com

naomi_campbell_chavez.jpg

Supermodel Naomi Campbell and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez tour a new housing complex in Caracas (AP Photo/Howard Yanes)
Supermodel Naomi Campbell and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez tour a new housing complex in Caracas (AP Photo/Howard Yanes)
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Mérida, November 1, 2007 (venezuelanalysis.com)- Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez inaugurated the first stage of a new housing complex,
Commune Villa de Sol, in Caracas
yesterday. The president was accompanied by British supermodel Naomi Campbell
who was in the country to meet with Chavez and to learn about the Bolivarian
Revolution. Campbell
expressed her amazement with the social programs of the Chavez government.

"I am amazed by what I have seen here in only 24
hours," said Campbell after visiting the
new Children's Heart Hospital in Caracas.
"It's marvelous to know and see what is being implemented here in Venezuela."

Campbell accompanied
President Chavez on Wednesday as he inaugurated housing for 120 families in a
new apartment complex, Commune Villa de Sol, in a lower-class sector of Caracas. A total of six
apartment buildings, of three-stories each, were handed over to families from
the surrounding community.

The local residents, who have been living in squalid
conditions without running water, bathrooms, or basic services for the last 25
years, exchanged their old steel-container housing for modern apartments. Each
family will have a two year's grace period before having to begin payments on
their new homes, and will pay according to their income.

The first stage of the complex was built with a total
investment of Bs. 8 billion (US$ 3.7 million) and includes telephone, gas, and
electrical service, as well as a preschool and center for "popular
power" to exercise communal government. The apartments vary between 3 and
4 bedrooms, and have 2 bathrooms, kitchen, living room, dining room, and
parking.

Upon their arrival, Campbell and Chavez were greeted with
applause and cheers from the residents of the sector. The supermodel carried a
tape recorder and camera and asked many questions as Chavez's ministers
explained the project to move people out of the structurally dangerous shanty
houses and into the new complex.

Minister of Participation and Social Development David
Velasquez explained the concept of communal government that is exercised
through the Communal Councils in each community. According to Velasquez, there
are now more than 35,000 Communal Councils throughout the country, and more
than 1,500 communes that are already practicing communal power in their
communities. He explained that the Villa del Sol commune is an example of this
new political structure.

"Since the year before, and this year, we have been
testing these processes, and it has been shown that the people are capable of
efficiently managing and administrating resources and giving better results in
less time than private companies or even the very institutions of the
state," he explained.

Campbell
applauded the social programs of the Chavez government and emphasized in
particular those programs directed toward the most disadvantaged sectors of
society. The British supermodel is a representative of the Nelson Mandela
Foundation and traveled to Venezuela
to discuss humanitarian topics with President Hugo Chavez, and to see the
Bolivarian Revolution first hand.

"I have been reading and listening to my friends, and I
wanted to see it for myself," she said in response to journalists.
"I'm marveled, in only 24 hours here, to see all the love that is
reflected in the social programs that are extended especially to the women and
children of this country."

Campbell interviewed Chavez in the presidential palace for
four hours on Tuesday, asking him "challenging questions," according
to Chavez, including whether Chavez believes the "empire is going to
fall."

Campbell stated the possibility of organizing a future meeting
between the South African leader Nelson Mandela and the Venezuelan president.