Caracas - Venezuelan socialist leader Hugo Chavez has invited 25 families made homeless by recent torrential rains to stay temporarily at the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas.
More than a dozen people have died and thousands have been forced from their houses after weeks of downpours in Venezuela that have caused flooding and mudslides.
Chavez, who is criticised for failing to provide more new housing during his 11 years in office but blames the problem on his free-market predecessors, said he would open his spacious, whitewashed palace in downtown Caracas to some of the victims.
Security staff would give up some of their quarters, and he would provide an office, Chavez said late on Sunday.
“The security personnel have a huge kitchen which about 20 families can use,” Chavez said on state TV.
“I have three offices, the second one can be turned into three little apartments. They're going to start moving in.”
Following their president's lead, National Assembly officials said space in parliament could also be temporarily used as a refuge for victims of the rains chaos.
Supporters praise Chavez as the first leader in Venezuela to care for the poor. But critics scoff at him as a populist seeking votes with gimmicky measures that fail to address the South American country's underlying problems.
Chavez berated Venezuela's private entrepreneurs over the weekend for worsening the nation's housing problem by seeking profit before the general good in construction projects. - Reuters
Why do all country leaders ignore the source of the social problems? They need to fix the cause instead of focusing on being politically correct or self grandizing. No political system can fix the over population problem! The solution is at a higher level.
Definitely a good gesture but more is needed...Chavez should learn from China to allow free market to operate and at the same time, politically, be a socilaist or communist country. Right now, it is almost impossible to conduct business in Venezuela-too much redtape.
Miraflores is not Thugo's home (living quarters) just his office. He lives at "La Casona" on the other side town.
i think that this is a slap in the face for the poor. how about providing them with means to get proper housing that wont wash away during floods? and why does his security personnel have such a huge kitchen?
Four words: Who is John Galt?
Free Thinker, wrote
Can you imagine JZ letting homeless people share some of the rooms at Tuinhuis after a similar disaster befell them? I can't.
Well Done Chap...we need more socialist like Chavez in this world.Again U go boy and ignore the fools.
Still a communist...
William Bellah, wrote
To the wicked all things are wicked. Chavez is a man of courage, not afraid to call it as it is.
Hey Chavez, keep a room open for Obama in 2013...I think he will need a place to stay and will be in good company to boot!
I would think the Presidential Palace BELONGS to the people how fitting he allows SOME of them to use it.. I can see why him and Obama are buddies blame someone else for their failures he's had MORE than enough time to build housing and more than enough money since he has it ALL.. however, I doubt if they will need the kitchen since there is not enough FOOD..
Hugo chavez has done what bush should have done when the levees broke in katrina, how's that for a striking example for all you haters, heres someone who is doing great and good things for his people and others. He should be commended and constructively critizised only. We are only human beings and as such we all are prone to mistakes especially when things happen unexpectedly, hugo thinks on his feet - unlike some i could mention.
Well you know after all these yrs I think Chavez has done something to Venezuela but I do not live there Personally I like him, well who the hell else is there anyways? I know for sure he helped all the poor people, I guess some were hurt too, but who the hell else is good enough to run Venezuela?
He destroys the middle class but allows some homeless to stay at his palace for photo ops. Anyone falling for this is a danger to humanity.
I'm confident that Chvez will read some posts here from the People's Republic of Amerika. We appreciate your contributions to the well being of the people comrade Hugo. God created men like you to care for the less fortunate.
Harry Reed, wrote
Not since Josef Stalin has one so deserved to be executed for his communistic eccentricities. Socialists Kudos Hugo Chavez! Socialist Kudos!
Open your eyes people. My wife is from Venezuela, she has been here for 5 years and all of her family is still there. Her family lives in Petare, it is a very large slum in Venezuela. I have been to Venezuela 15 times in the last 5 years and see the people suffer. If you think the people like Prez. Chavez, think again. The lives of the poor have gotten worse every year. The poor people despise him and what he has done. He is only there to better himself and pillage a once thriving nation.
Sure Lee, wrote
He'll be removing all the silver before they move in.
So where are the rooms Hugo? In the dungeon?
Haha - I didn't realize today was April Fools! Neither Obama nor Chavez are worthy of the Nobel Prize. Chavez is just a dictator whose keeping the house from crumbling by ranting about capitalism and hating on the US. Eventually, the rhetoric won't be enough to save them.