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. ReutersĀ  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.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for DECEMBER 2016
Universal:
End to Child-Soldiers: That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over.
Evangelization: Europe: That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life.



Comments


More Americas

Gunman kills 4 at Mexican nightclub - 3 security members die heroes Watch

Image of Blue Parrot nightclub patrons huddle under tables as shots ring out (Marcos Vazquez/Twitter).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Blue Parrot nightclub is a popular tourist venue at Playa Del Carmen, Mexico but Monday night at least five were killed when a gunman attacked. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - NBC News reported a lone gunman opened fire during an electronic dance music festival ... continue reading


Missing priest discovered under mysterious circumstances in Mexican city Watch

Image of Many priests in Mexico receive funerals with empty coffins as their bodies are usually discovered too late to be preserved.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Fr. Joaquin Hernandez Sifuentes was a parish priest in the northern state of Coahuila, Mexico. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On Thursday, Catholic.org asked for prayers to see his safe return but the Lord had other plans.Father Sifuentes was missing over a week ... continue reading


Media censorship of unrest in Mexico continues, but why? Watch

Image of News of the unrest in Mexico is starting to trickle into the mainstream media, but only following reports from sites like Catholic Online.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Unrest is spreading in Mexico as censorship of the problems in that country continues. People are protesting high prices for gas, electricity and food. They're also angry over continued corruption between their government and the drug cartels. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Priest reported missing under mysterious circumstances - Join us in prayer for his safe return Watch

Image of Authorities continue their search for missing priests in Mexico.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Mexican Council of Bishops made a sad phone call Tuesday to report a priest has been missing for over a week in the northern state of Coahuila, Mexico. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Fr. Juaquin Hernandez Sifuentes was a parish priest at a church constantly at ... continue reading


There is a revolution brewing in Mexico, so why isn't the media reporting it? Watch

Image of Mexico teeters on the brink of unrest as protests turn violent across the country.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Mexico is approaching the brink of revolution - and the media continues to censor itself from reporting on the matter. But why? LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The border between the U.S. and Mexico in San Diego has been closed several times this past week as ... continue reading


Brazilian pastor savagely stabbed in the neck during televised service Watch

Image of Popular Brazilian pastor was rushed to a hospital after the attack.

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A popular Brazilian pastor was brutally attacked and stabbed during a televised church service in Sao Paulo on January 8. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "The pastor kindly leaned down to embrace a young man, who took out a knife and stabbed him in the throat," one ... continue reading


Our Lady of Guadalupe: The Woman Who Casts a Shadow Watch

Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe

By Deal W. Hudson

Having never been to a major Marian shrine, I didn't quite know what to expect. Some years ago, in the summer of 2004, I made a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. I went there, like other pilgrims, to ask for Her protection during a ... continue reading


Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Our Lady of Guadalupe has been hailed as the Patroness of the America's. The "New Evangelization" of the America's has been entrusted to her patronage and prayer. CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) - On this Feast of Our Lady we reflect on what occurred to Juan Diego, ... continue reading


On the Feast of St. Juan Diego, the 'Talking Eagle' Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online

"The Guadalupe Event," as the Mexican Episcopate has pointed out, "meant the beginning of evangelization with a vitality that surpassed all expectations." CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) - On December 9, the day after the great feast of the Immaculate Conception, we ... continue reading


Pope Francis calls for prayer as thousands pack Chapeco cathedral following devastating plane crash Watch

Image of Pope Francis calls for prayer.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

On Monday night, 71 people perished in a horrific plane crash south of the Colombian capital of Medellin. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Only six of the 77 passengers and crew survived, three of them members of the Chapocoense club, a soccer team on the brink of ... 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, Hebrews 7:1-3, 15-17
1 Melchizedek, king of Salem, a priest of God Most High, came to meet ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 110:1, 2, 3, 4
1 [Of David Psalm] Yahweh declared to my Lord, 'Take your seat at my ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 3:1-6
1 Another time he went into the synagogue, and there was a man present ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 18th, 2017 Image

St. Volusian
January 18: Bishop of Tours, France. A senator at Tours, he ... Read More