Skip to comments.Caracas takes golf courses for housing
Posted on 08/29/2006 7:21:41 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
CARACAS, Venezuela - Three major Caracas golf courses, long favored by the city's wealthy, are being expropriated to build housing for thousands of poor and middle class Venezuelans, officials said Tuesday.
The city expropriations, which will likely generate new friction between supporters and opponents of President Hugo Chavez, are part of an ambitious government effort to provide more homes amid an acute housing shortage that has driven up real estate prices.
Mayor Juan Barreto's office has ordered the "forced acquisition" of two golf courses and will soon issue another decree expropriating a third course in the ritzy hills of southern Caracas, city attorney Juan Manuel Vadell told The Associated Press.
Vadell said the golf courses' owners have 30 days to appear before the mayor's office, starting a negotiation period in which a commission will eventually decide on fair compensation for the courses.
Barreto told state television as many as 50,000 homes would be built on 363 acres spanning the three golf courses.
The expropriations broaden a campaign by Barreto and other Chavez allies to acquire land for public housing projects.
Barreto has said that new courses could be located in the suburbs. He also said the courses are unjustifiably lavish expenses in a country where an estimated 1.6 million families lack decent housing.
Critics, including residents living in the few upscale homes located within the golf course lands, claim that property rights are being eroded under Chavez.
"This isn't an expropriation aimed at collective benefit," said Oscar Garcia Mendoza, a banker who lives at Caracas Country Club. "It's a violation of private property rights."
Chavez, a critic of capitalism and an ally of Cuban President Fidel Castro, says land and housing reforms are important, but he has insisted he also will respect private property rights.
One of the courses affected, the Caracas Country Club, was founded in 1918 and has long been a gathering place for Venezuela's elite. The course existed long before urban sprawl filled up much of the mountain-fringed valley.
A member of the Country Club plays golf as his caddy stands by in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2006. The city mayor's office has decreed the expropriation of all three major golf courses in Caracas under eminent domain. (AP Photo/Leslie Mazoch)
He sounds like a Peron wanna-be.
Nationalizing everything. This is the South American gulag. Chavez has to go.
Communism marches on...
Kelo v. City of New London has even impacted South America.
WOW! Pretty high greens fees for low cost housing!
That was my thought. The property owners with homes bordering the golf course, should probably just give their pads back to the bank.
Hugo can kiss my American ass.
This member is not playing eighteen holes, he's hitting a bucket of balls.
In journalism, there are lies of omission and comission.
The caddy has pretty good form, the member of the unnamed Country Club needs some additional coaching.
A George Carlin monologue comes true.
I lived in Caracas for 5 years. This street punk thug needs to be forcibly removed. He is ruining the country.
He has murdered or exiled his most formidible opponents within the once respected Venezuelan military, and if he can't be liquidated from within the country, then I encourage outside intervention to remove him and his fellow ignorant thugs.
Many an American leftist would like to do the same here.
Well, I guess there's just one thing left to do...
...Otter, Boon, your country needs you.
It's time to invade. We must secure the worlds golf courses.
Locally, they've already started with the "water waste" drumbeat.
What's really happening is people who don't play golf are driving by on a weekday, seeing all the high-end vehicles in the parking lot, and people out enjoying themselves at "their" expense in the middle of the week, etc.
Trust me, it's going to happen.
That is what is different about Chavez. He is purposely picking a fight, he is daring his opponents to come after him.
There is no lack of undeveloped land around Caracas that could be acquired by whatever means, fair or foul. Seizing the golf courses, these particular golf courses, is rubbing their noses in it.
Castro is getting ready to check out, Cuba is going to convulse very soon. Chavez thinks he has the game rigged to be the next Fidel. But for him, it isn't enough to "be" the Great Dictator, he needs to be sure that everyone knows it.
That's the way I am starting to feel now. Those golf courses can't be turned into pigholes. I am absolutely appalled at this news, when I first read it, I flipped the page, it was so upsetting I could not stand it. Once gone, they are gone forever.
That's just it, Hilltop. It's not that exclusive a club. Pretty much anyone can go there who'd like to play golf. Nobody gets turned away. The writer of this article tries to claim it's this elite thing but I was there and it's not. Anyone who's interested in golf is allowed to play there and the caddies welcome the work. They told me work was down because so many Venezuelans were already fleeing the country. It's gotten that bad now.
A 4 cent bullet sould solve all of this in a minute.
50,000 homes on 363 acres? Sounds like just enough so everyone gets to live in their own outhouse.
20 years ago we would have supplied rebels with arms to fight this kind of totalitarianism.
I guess we've got too many irons in the fire to deal with this now.
The reason they want to pack them in so tight is that they want to change the voter composition of the little city it's in - it's an opposition neighborhood and they want to change it into a drug-addled, crime-infested chavista one, the better to chase the good people out and leave only angry criminals and corrupt communists behind. It is the sickest thing I have ever seen.
Someone needs to fight this, it's absolutely criminal.
Grant me the indulgence my friend.
It would be quite a delicious irony if a bogey golfer in Caracas were to take an iron on a par three, strike a balata ball, hit Hugo in the head and make a hole in one.
I think I'll rest now with that sugar plum vision still resident in my mind.
I bid you and yours all the best.
"20 years ago we would have supplied rebels with arms to fight this kind of totalitarianism."
Nothing a well-placed cruise missile couldn't handle.
Chavez is a wild hog let out of the pen and needs to meet the BBQ grill..
Long term, probably not good for Chavez. I'm sure there were plenty of elites who were members of these clubs who acquiesced in his rule as long as they were protected. Now, he's pissed them off.
Read DU. The DUmmies think this is a GREAT idea
Let's see how this works out:
50K "homes"/363 ac. = 137.741 "homes"/ac.
43,560 sf.(one acre)/137.741 = 316.25 sf. per "home"
About the size of a modest living room not including walkways, setbacks, access, yards (hah!), fencing, roadways, streets, right of ways, utilities etc.
Of course they will stack them to make them more accommodating. I presume their version of public housing is not too different from ours.
They're gonna look like stalinist housing projects, bleak, gray, tall, mass-produced, rain-stained and ugly, the vile kind endemic to all communist regimes.
Meanwhile, Miguel at Devil's Excrement and Daniel at Venezuela News have some informed new commentary about this expropriation here:
I hope they don't get their grubby hands on this.