Alexandra Chuello is from Carora (Lara State, Venezuela) and has belonged to the communal council ever since it started functioning in 2005-6.
She attended a special Fundacomunal meeting in Barquisimeto to discuss changes in the communal council bill and to usher in the Socialist work brigades scheme.
When asked how many projects her council has applied for to Fundacomunal (Foundation for the Development & Promotion of Comunal Power), she answered six ... adding quickly that none has been approved as yet. Her own communal council covers 225 dwellings in a huge urbanization and there are 25 main reps (spokespersons) on the council.
She herself is the food rep on the executive unit because she helps run a kitchen that delivers daily dinner to people in need. In her area there's a Integral Diagnosis Center (CDI), Bolivarian School and a house where around 30 senior citizens are catered for during the day.
She's in favor of the new brigade scheme because it gets more people involved in the community and she's happy with the rectification and re-booting of councils, characterizing the new Fundacomunal state team as serious and committed to creating a Commune in Carora.
An outspoken lady, Alexandra is somewhat skeptical about some Mayors and State Governors, alleging that they've been resting on their laurels, allowing a certain decline.
Speaking to several reps from different parts of the State attending the meeting, I did get a feeling of disappointment about the attitude and conduct of some Mayors and others ... one rep accuses one Mayor of passing the buck, sending people to the communal councils for a solution to their problems ... councils that are working without many resources.
Fundacomunal assistance in the early years comes under fire for not being up to the task of accompanying the councils in projects and what Alexandra calls a bad diagnosis, starting with the decision to divide her urbanization into six separate communal councils ... giving rise to a certain amount of rivalry and divisions over turf.