Wednesday, 2 September 2009

A New Model With Rough Edges: Venezuela’s Community Councils

[As the community councils gain experience, two processes fraught with tension are under way. First, marginalized and semi-marginalized sectors of the population gain confidence and experience in collective decision making. Second, steps toward institutionalization are designed to create viable mechanisms that monitor and guard against ill-conceived projects and misuse of public funds. But the effort to achieve incorporation, on the one hand, and institutionalization, on the other, is a complicated balancing act.]

A New Model With Rough Edges: Venezuela’s Community Councils

June 11th 2009, by Steve Ellner - NACLA

The main country road that passes by Las Cuadras, a poor rural area in the zone of El Valle, in the Venezuelan state of Mérida, sports a new roofed waiting area and sidewalk. Julio Cerrada, a spokesman for the Las Cuadras community council, shows me these and other recent projects, including a decorative arch at the neighborhood’s entrance and a large metal garbage container. Then Cerrada takes me to the end of the mountain road, where the community council of La Culata has constructed a pathway consisting of two paved tracks extending about 300 yards uphill, which allows potato and carrot farmers to transport their produce by vehicle and also opens the area to tourism. A small cooperative, called Paseos a Caballo de La Culata, takes tourists on horseback up the pathway, whose entrance is now marked by a large plaque celebrating the figure of Simón Bolívar. Cerrada tells me the cooperative is requesting state financing to construct a tourist station at the pathway’s upper end.

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1 comment:

admin said...

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