Caracas, July 29th 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – The plans to construct housing for disaster victims on a plot of land in Nueva Casarapa, a district within the commuting city of Guarenas, have been called off following protest from residents, mayor Freddy Rodriguez announced this morning.
The protest began early in the morning following news that the land would be utilized as part of the government’s Housing Mission, which aims to give residences to underprivileged sectors of the population. It expanded to block vehicle access to the district, causing significant delays in traffic along the highway from Guarenas to Caracas, the country’s capital.
After Rodriguez met with residents around 9 a.m. and assured them that new housing would not be constructed in the area, protests were called off.
In a radio interview later in the day, Rodriguez claimed that the news had spread due to “a confusion and bad information” regarding proposals his office was evaluating.
Though he expressed agreement with the residents’ “free protest,” he noted that political factors were also at play.
“We are willing to listen to their requests, but we ask the municipality to show confidence, because the majority here [in Nueva Casarapa] is opposition and I’m chavista, and we want to create channels of communication,” Rodriguez said.
Nueva Casarapa residents took similar actions at the end of April to protest their district’s lack of water, which they claimed had not arrived in 33 days.
Since being launched two years ago under late President Hugo Chavez, the Housing Mission has constructed 405,263 homes throughout the country, according to statistics released last week by State Minister for the Revolutionary Transformation of Greater Caracas Francisco Sesto. In a radio interview, Sesto expressed confidence that the Mission would reach its goal of 2 million new homes by 2018.
“When President Chavez launched the program, there were certainly people in our own government who doubted it, who thought, ‘it’s just another dream; we’ll see if we achieve it.’ And in the first year alone 150,000 homes were completed,” he said. “A strong effort is being made, above all with the construction of popular power, to give a response to the preexisting elements. Each time, we will do it better.”