Under the Chávez plan, communes take precedence over local gov't
If reelected next October 7, Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez will deepen a system where communes are more predominant in management of domestic resources. This will surely weaken the power and lessen the resources managed by local governments and mayoralties.
Communes are composed of several communal councils. In these bodies, the population will continue organizing resolutely there are 41,000 already- under the government travel log.
President Chávez envisages the incorporation of 21,000 communal councils in 2013-2016 and additional 2,699 every year in 2017-2019.
In order to administer the cash that should flow to those new communal council, there are plans to organize 3,000 communal banks there are 52 already- "which will help consolidate the new financial architecture of the people's power," reads the paper handed over by Chávez to the National Electoral Council (CNE).
A pivotal issue is that Chavezism prepares to organize communities based on new power bodies. For instance, besides communal councils and communal banks, every commune is expected to have its own parliament, executive council, planning council and economics council. To a certain extent, communes would take up the powers presently held by local governments and mayoralties.
Money in barrios
Communal councils, started in 2006, already manage a substantial amount of resources.
In 2010, a legal reform established the Inter-territorial Compensation Fund, which receives 15% of the State revenues on the account of value added tax, outlays in accordance with the Law on Special Economic Allotment and transfers from the Executive Office.
The Fund, in turn, pumps funds to communal councils. Formerly, these funds used to go to local governments and mayors.
Luis Jiménez Alfaro seems to have hidden under the rocks. The last time he was seen was on April 2006 walking calmly around Simón Bolívar International Airport of Maiquetía, located nearby Caracas. At that time, more than five tons of cocaine arrived in Mexico in an airplane which took off from Venezuela, and his name featured as a missing piece of the puzzle of one of the most massive drug shipments that has been witnessed in the Western Hemisphere.