Venezuela's unrealized revolution
Meanwhile, the government here announced recently that it will help over 50 African countries combat malaria, even though the number of malaria cases in Venezuela in 2004 was the second highest since 1937 and twice that of when Chávez took office.
Marcial Bastitas, who lives in a poor section of Caracas, is also frustrated. Surrounded by six Chavista friends, he says that "we should take care of our problems first." They nod in agreement.
Venezuela also faces a public housing shortage. According to figures from the Venezuela Chamber of Housing, less than 30,000 homes were built in 2005 out of the 120,000 promised by Chávez.
The working-class residents of the barrio Catia may be forgiven if they are skeptical of this new initiative. A public hospital was closed here over two years ago in order to be converted into a Barrio Adentro clinic that has yet to open.
Tags: Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, Latin America, Politics, Democracy