Saturday, 14 May 2011

If you have a mobile in Venezuela now

If you are living in Venezuela and you have a mobile, you get every week, whether you like it or not, messsages from the government. Those messages are mostly to promote the interests of the military caste or just propaganda.

Here Liz sends me just one of the  latest messages she got. As you may know by now, housing is a big problem in Venezuela. Since Chávez is in power, construction levels have collapsed. There are more than 2 million houses we miss now. As we have elections next year, the caudillo is promising we will get the houses we did not get in the last 13 years. He is promising 2 million houses for the next two years, which, considering the speed in which houses were built in the last years, would be a miracle. And Liz and millions of other Venezuelans get to read this: "From Saturday 7 May and for one month the Great Mission Housing. To live living! (sic) From: Ministry for the Popular (sic) Power for Housing".

Take into account something most foreign visitors fail to report: Internet coverage nationwide is around 30% and less than 30% of Venezuelans can, theoretically, watch TV that is critical to the regime. Most private channels, which Chávez's apologists classify as "oppo", focus on baseball and soap operas since RCTV had to close down. Most Venezuelans don't read. Mobile phones definitely matter. And here the military caste tells you, using your mobile, that you have a chance in the housing lottery.

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