Friday, July 31, 2009
In a country badly strapped for housing, the government of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez orders large refunds to buyers of new homes.
Chavez and his local allies have seized dozens of private properties this year, mostly farms and ranches that the government deems to be underutilized. He has also encouraged squatters to occupy land and residential buildings. The measures reflect Chavez's goal of building a socialist economy and weakening private enterprise, but they have had a chilling effect on construction, exacerbating the housing shortage, critics say. One new wrinkle was added this week when Chavez allies in the Vargas state government authorized the takeover of two golf courses in the seaside Caracas suburb of Caraballeda. Local officials say the courses will be converted to housing and parkland. Does this sound familiar, taking control of private business, banks, mortgages? Yep, that's a socialist country alright. I am glad I live in America the land of the free and home of the brave. How does a country become a dictatorship anyway?