Chavez Seeks Shangri-La with 'Socialist Cities'

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is pushing plans to create "21st century socialist cities" -- communities based on public participation and cooperation -- juxtaposed next to fiercely capitalist developments in the rest of the country.

"To be called Caribia, it's the first of about a dozen "socialist cities" that is intended as a utopia of sorts, where all residents will participate in community affairs and grow crops such as carrots and coffee on patches of countryside that will surround their homes."

"But to get there, you must first pass one of the swankiest shopping malls in Latin America. A Mercedez Benz SUV zooms by in a gray blur."

"Like so many other facets of life in Caracas, the juxtaposition is jarring, a contradiction that both extremes of the ideological spectrum here grapple with: Where does socialism fit into this oil-rich nation where the rich-poor divide is as palpable as anywhere else in Latin America? After all, that SUV that whizzed by is not an anomaly; luxury cars are all over the city, driving down highways and roads ringed by hillside slums."

"Mr. Chávez has a name for it: "21st-century socialism." And nothing embodies his vision that socialism and this intensely capitalist society can sit comfortably next to each other – more than Caribia."

Full Story: Chávez seeks Shangri-La with 'socialist cities'



Your roots

The concepts of Mr. Chavez are inherently conflictive with those of the Founding Fathers. It takes one quick look at Caracas to see how much the "revolution" has destroyed a once bustling nation full of resources and on its way to progress. Utopias such as "Caribia" are showcases that fake a good living standard in a country where people have no fundamental rights, where property and companies are being seized and where the murder rate has hiked dramatically while hundreds of thousands of guns are given away to Chavez' supporters without any control and with the intent of forcing silence with fear among the population. If you actually think such "Potemkin villages" of the Venezuelan dictator are real and are worth of commendment in this site, you should go to Venezuela and walk the streets without any guidance from "revolutionary" associates to have your own idea, and if you still think it is a good thing, then revise if the principles of the American Constitution are consistent with yours. It takes seeing first-hand the destruction and strife that Chavez has created in order to understand it. I sincerely doubt that these planning practices are worth of the Planetizen site, if not only to criticize the abhorrence of his regime and how he has damaged the image of his cities and the soul of his citizens.

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