Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/8/2014 (2 years 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 (2 years 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'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for SEPTEMBER 2016
Universal:
Centrality of the Human Person: That each may contribute to the common good and to the building of a society that places the human person at the center.
Evangelization: Mission to Evangelize: That by participating in the Sacraments and meditating on Scripture, Christians may become more aware of their mission to evangelize.



Comments


More Americas

Mexicans protest smear campaign against murdered priests Watch

Image of Mexican priests have become victims of a smear campaign.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Mexican prosecutors involved in the murdered priests case have suggested the men of God were involved in "questionable behavior," including drinking alcohol with their murderers and insinuating one was guilty of pedophilia. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading


Pray for abducted priest discovered dead near Mexico highway Watch

Image of Mexico mourns their lost priests.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The priest reported missing last week has been found on the side of a Mexican highway. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Fathers Alejo Nabor Jiménez Juárez and José Alfredo Suárez de la Cruz were discovered in a field September 19. Since then, one other priest ... continue reading


Cardinal pleads for kidnapped priests' lives Watch

Image of Cardinal Alberto Suarez Inda.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Priests continue to be kidnapped and slaughtered in the world's most dangerous country for the clergy - Mexico. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Mexico is the most dangerous country for priests and each year more servants of the Lord go missing, are kidnapped and ... continue reading


Two priests discovered dead in Mexican field - Why Mexico is the most dangerous country for clergymen Watch

Image of Violence against priests continue in Mexico.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Mexican priests Alejo Nabor Jiménez Juárez and José Alfredo Suárez de la Cruz were discovered murdered in a field on September 19. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The priests were kidnapped on September 18 from Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Poza Rica.After their ... continue reading


'We pray to the Lord that he blesses our beloved homeland' - Two priests discovered dead in field Watch

Image of Mexican priests continue to be slain.

By (CNA/EWTN News)

One day after they were kidnapped from their parish, Mexican priests Alejo Nabor Jiménez Juárez and José Alfredo Suárez de la Cruz were found murdered in a field. Mexico City, Mexico (CNA/EWTN News) - The Mexican Bishops Conference confirmed the priests' deaths and ... continue reading


Nun murdered in drive-by shooting Watch

Image of Sister Isabel Sola Matas was killed in Haiti.

By (CNA/EWTN News)

As the world turned its focus on Rome for the canonization of Mother Teresa last weekend, another religious sister lost her life while caring for the poor in Haiti. Port au Prince, Haiti (CNA/EWTN News) - Sister Isabel Sola Macas, 51, from the Congregation of the ... continue reading


Tim Kaine, Democrat for VP may be a former KGB 'Liberation Theology' student? Watch

Image of

By (CNA/EWTN News)

San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Sep 6, 2016 / 01:09 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- He was only 22 years-old, and he was only there for nine months. But U.S. Senator and Democratic vice-presidential hopeful Tim Kaine credits the time he spent with a Jesuit community in Honduras as so ... continue reading


Beat the sisters and desecrated their chapel Watch

Image of The chapel (not pictured) was ransacked.

By (CNA/EWTN News)

The community of the Missionaries of Charity in Mar del Plata, Argentina, became the target of criminals late last week, as three men broke in, beat the sisters and desecrated their chapel. Buenos Aires, Argentina (CNA/EWTN News) - According to reports, three ... continue reading


Amigos? Mexican president asks Trump to visit for private meeting Watch

Image of President Pena Nieto, has invited Donald Trumpto meet with him in Mexico.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Donald Trump, looking more presidential than ever, has accepted an invitation from the President of Mexico to visit. The Republican nominee accepted Enrique Pena Nieto's invitation to travel south of the border for a meeting. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - ... continue reading


SNAKE DYNASTY - Archaeologists discover rare, intact Maya tomb Watch

Image of An intact tomb has been discovere din the Mayan city of Xunantunich.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Archaeologists have uncovered a Maya tomb containing treasure and a body. The rare discovery was made in Belize, among the ruins of the ancient city of Xunantunich. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Archaeologists have found an intact Maya tomb. The discovery is ... continue reading


All Americas News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Job 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23
1 In the end it was Job who broke the silence and cursed the day of his ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 88:2-3, 4-5, 6, 7-8
2 may my prayer reach your presence, hear my cry for help.3 ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:51-56
51 Now it happened that as the time drew near for him to be taken up, he ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 27th, 2016 Image

St. Vincent de Paul
September 27: St. Vincent de Paul was born to a poor peasant ... Read More