Venezuela's Community Councils

<p>In Venezuela, small community councils funded by oil money are popping up all over the country, taking control over local decisions such as public education, infrastructure, and building plans.</p>
June 1, 2007, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Thousands of the councils have been formed nationwide, and they have made decisions on everything from trash collection to school construction."

"Chavez calls the councils the fifth engine in his campaign to transform the world's seventh-biggest oil exporter into a socialist state. At first glance, they may appear like neighborhood watch groups."

"But the councils have government funding, thanks to the oil windfall Venezuela is enjoying. And they have a mandate to carry out projects big and small."

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Published on Friday, May 25, 2007 in NPR
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