Robolutionary Farce: Governement expropriates with one hand to give buddies concessions with the other

January 28, 2007

This weekend I was going to write about the expropriation of the “Aeropuerto Caracas” by the Governor of Miranda State, in order to promote “popular tourism”, according to the decision by the Legislative Assembly of that State. This decision is a surprise. Other than to exert control over people, there can’t be any justification for it, more so, when Miranda State has two other airports that belong to the State and that have been supposedly part of plans to expand them and increase their importance in the last two years. In fact, the Governor of Miranda State even appeared in Chavez’ program Alo Presidente early in 2006 to talk about this grandiose plan.

Aeropuerto Caracas is a concession to an association and both commercial and private flights use it daily. It no longer has international flights because they were prohibited by this Government two years ago, when the Caracas airport was closed to airplane traffic (a decision which is violated daily, when at least a dozen Government planes take off and land in the La Carlota airport of Caracas).Aeropuerto Caracas also includes hangars in private land around it and it is as yet unclear if this is part or not of the nationalization. It is run well, maintained well and run efficiently and Government airplanes pay no fees for its use.

If I was surprised by this decision, today I am amazed by it, as I learn that in a contigous State, exactly the opposite is being done. Indeed, Governor Acosta Carles has given the concession of the Puerto Cabello International Airport for 50 years, under terms that can only be called extremely sweet, as the company getting the concession will not have to pay anything to the Government for the first 11 years.

As if this were not enough, the person signing the contract in representation of the company happens to be General Victor Cruz Weffer, a Chavez buddy and supposedly a revolutionary, whose tenure as Head of the Bolivar 2,000 program was marked by irregularities, scandal and corruption, but nothing ever came of it.

Thus, it is clear that this revolution is a farce: While the Government expropriates, nationalizes and takes over majority of companies, land, airports, joint ventures and the like from their rightful or contractual owners, it does exactly the opposite to its friends and supporters, giving new meaning to the terms bolibourgeois and robolution.

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