Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/8/2014 (5 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Reuters did a special report on a unique program in Venezuela intended to fight poverty.

In Venezuela, a real-world example of how communism fails is being played out in tragic slow-motion as oil money sent to poor communities for development is squandered and spent by corrupt officials.

The Community Councils are intended to lift the masses out of poverty, but so far their success has been limited by corruption and poor oversight.

The Community Councils are intended to lift the masses out of poverty, but so far their success has been limited by corruption and poor oversight.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/8/2014 (5 months ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: Venezuela, community councils, communism, corruption


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A special report from Thompson Reuters has surfaced concern that money sent by the Venezuelan government to build up communities is being squandered. The report discusses the Venezuelan's policy to distribute oil revenues to poor communities in an effort to help organize the people and build prosperity.

On paper, this appears to be noble. The natural resources of Venezuela, the oil, belongs to all the people instead of just a few. The profits of that production are then shared with those most in need, on a community basis. This ensures the money is well spent and builds supportive communities which can eradicate poverty through opening businesses and providing direct aid to the poor.

The best way to fight corruption is moral education. Help the effort.

It's the communist ideal, brought to life, except like the whole of communist philosophy, it ignores the greedy corruption of those empowered and entrusted with the money.

Venezuelans who are supposed to receive some benefit from the money are complaining that it is being embezzled, squirreled away, and misspent and those most in need still go without while those with connections or who can manipulate the system are enjoying the effortless payday.

The situation has become so bad that the people of these communities have asked the government to stop sending aid.

Reuters interviewed Juan Freire, 57, a citizen of El Chaparral, a town of just 250 people. The money, he said, wasn't going to the people or stimulating growth. "When we filed complaints, the responses would always be something like, 'we'll send some recommendations'. They never gave us answers."

The problem, according to Reuters, is "a vast community aid effort with lax financial controls." The report details wasteful spending which includes the planting of an orchard with the trees left to wither and die, money used for personal expenses, and funds distributed to friends for 'safekeeping."

Nearly $8 billion has been distributed since 2006.

The entire scheme was the brainchild of Hugo Chavez, who wanted to strengthen support across his base by providing direct aid to poor communities. The idea was for the poor to see government money improving their communities and lives which would endear them to Chavez and the establishment.

Each community, as a condition of receiving funds, was to organize and form a community council which would operate on a small scale to ensure the people's needs were met. However even now, years following the edict, many councils remain unformed and others are rife with corruption. Yet, the money still flows.

Some have been successful, Reuters reports, building community enters, repairing roads and more. However, in places where corruption abounds, the people are as poorly off as ever.

The Venezuelan government does not report, at least not publicly, on how its program is doing. Reuters  explained that government officials said they were not authorized to discuss the program.

Now, as Hugo's handpicked successor, Nicolas Maduro, is facing heated internal criticism and civil disruption as he tries to remain in power. Many Venezuelans, weary of the corruption and broken promises are looking to oust Maduro and replace him with new leadership.

The problems with communism are many, and the approach of giving people free money rarely works. Instead, it's apparent that it inspires corruption and embezzlement, especially when enforcement is lax. Without a better moral philosophy in place, such as a Catholic understanding of wealth and how it is best deployed, communities like El Chaparral will simply remain mired in corruption and poverty.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Americas

If you think ISIS is bad, just look at what's going on in Mexico Watch

Image of Those who speak out against the Mexican drug cartels often find themselves attacked, abused, or even murdered.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While the world-and especially the United States-remains fixated on the brutal actions and conquests of the Islamic State, few are looking closer to home to see such brutality, sometimes on a larger and more horrifying scale. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Worst drought in years: So Paulo may run out of water by next month Watch

Image of One of the causes of the Brazilian drought crisis may be more than 2,000 kilometers away, in the growing deforested areas in the Amazon region.

By Adriana Brasileiro, Thomson Reuters Foundation

South America's biggest and wealthiest city may run out of water by mid-November if it doesn't rain soon. SAO PAULO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - São Paulo, a Brazilian megacity of 20 million people, is suffering its worst drought in at least 80 years, with key ... continue reading


In narrow election, Brazil reelects leftists president Watch

Image of Rousseff had 51.6% of the vote in the run-off election, while her opponent, the center-right Aecio Neves only had 48.4%.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Dilma Rousseff, Brazil's leftist president, was re-elected on October 26, after one of Brazil's closest election races since it become a democracy about 30 years ago. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Rousseff had 51.6% of the vote in the run-off election, while ... continue reading


Ottawa terrorist attack: Lone gunman planned to fight overseas for Islamic State Watch

Image of Corporal Nathan Cirillo was

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Details are beginning to emerge in a terrorist attack in the Canadian capital of Ottawa. Corporal Nathan Cirillo was "murdered in cold blood" as he stood guard at Canada's National War Memorial. The suspected gunman, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was later shot and ... continue reading


BREAKING: Shots fired in Canadian capital, soldier killed by gunman at war memorial Watch

Image of Armed members of Canada's Royal Mounted Police are searching for an unknown number of shooters in Ottawa, Canada's capital.

By Robert Mullen (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There have been multiple gunmen and gunshots in Canada's capital of Ottawa, and at least one Canadian service man was shot in what may be-but is unconfirmed-a terrorist attack. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The shootings occurred just before 10 a.m. ET on ... continue reading


Bermuda buttons down for Hurricane Gonzalo Watch

Image of Bermuda is getting ready to get hit by Hurricane Gonzalo, which is expected to have winds up to 145 miles per hour.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Bermuda is set to be hit by a strong storm on October 17, Hurricane Gonzalo, one of the most powerful on record to hit the island. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Schools on the island were closed on October 16, and many residents boarded up the windows of their ... continue reading


Sex trafficking ring that used teenaged girls, boys busted in Colombia Watch

Image of Working out of clandestine sites and massage parlors, the ring frequently used taxi drivers to bring in foreign clients looking for underage sex.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

After a lengthy investigation, a joint operation between the United States and Colombia successfully led to 11 arrests across the South American nation in a large sex trafficking ring. The ring used teenaged girls and boys, one victim as young as 11 and kept ... continue reading


Dreaded Juarez drug cartel leader arrested without a shot being fired Watch

Image of Carrillo Fuentes faces a number of charges in the United States. Drug trafficking, conspiracy, money laundering, tampering with a witness and

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Feared and respected, Juarez drug cartel boss Vicente Carrillo Fuentes aided Ciudad Juarez' reputation as one of the most dangerous regions on Earth. Fuentes has now been captured and arrested without a shot being fired. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading


Man finds kidnapped daughter, missing for 12 years! Watch

Image of Sabrina Allen, seen here in a picture from 2002, was taken by her mother to Mexico for 12 years. She will be reunited with her father who has labored to find her for more than a decade.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Sabrina Allen, the girl was kidnapped by her mother 12 years ago and taken into Mexico from Texas, is set to be reunited with her father who last saw her when she was five years old. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Mexican and U.S. authorities arrested Dara ... continue reading


As Ecuador plans to drill in the Amazon, natives know their time is up Watch

Image of Oil drilling in the Amazon rainforest has caused great destruction of the once fertile and incredibly diverse ecosystem there.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ecuador's Yasuni National Park is considered one of the world's most bio-diverse regions. This unique place is inhabited by more than 20 different endangered mammals, and just 2 ½ acres of this patch of Amazon rainforest contains more than 100,000 species of ... continue reading


All Americas News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 6:10-20
10 Finally, grow strong in the Lord, with the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 144:1, 2, 9-10
1 [Of David] Blessed be Yahweh, my rock, who trains ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:31-35
31 Just at this time some Pharisees came up. 'Go ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 30th, 2014 Image

St. Alphonsus Rodriguez
October 30: Confessor and Jay brother, also called Alonso. He was born in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter