As President Chavez stated during his 'Alo Presidente' radio show today, the show has become a school. There was plenty of debate and auto-criticism in today's show when the President critiqued Ministers and his close advisers for what he called the "scant availability" not only to take notes but even worse, to follow up petitions and works.
'Alo Presidente' took place at the El Maizal recovered farm in Lara State.
The local mayor reminded Chavez of a promise he made 4 months ago to asphalt 27 kilometers of country road from Gamoletal to Buria. Chavez said he remembered receiving the request and passing it on. Lara State Governor Henry Falcon told Chavez that he had sent the project costing 40 million bolivares to the Public Works & Habitat Ministry. On a phone link with Minister Diosdado Cabello, Chavez asked what had happened and received the answer that the Ministry had done its own survey coming out with a 62-millions price tag.
The President's critique was two-fold: why didn't the Minister meet up with Falcon to discuss the project and why the big difference in assessing costs?
Later, Chavez urged former Lara State Governor and current Minister of the Presidency, Luis Reyes Reyes to concert a move to secure union with current Governor Henry Falcon and warned them that the oligarchy are trying to set them up with rumors of divisions. Recalling a fallout with his comrade-in-arms, Lt. Colonel Francisco Arias Cardenas, Chavez revealed that it was former Movement Quinta Republica (MVR) strongman, Luis Miquilena who sowed rumors that led to a break that saw Arias Cardenas run against Chavez for the presidency supported by the opposition who left him high and dry afterwards.
"Pancho" ... now reconciled with Chavez ... is currently Deputy Foreign Minister for South America & the Caribbean.
Another discovery the President made today was to hear members of a local communal council tell him they had to travel to San Cristobal in the border state of Tachira to open their communal bank account with the state Banfoandes bank. The President quizzed Participation Social & Communes Minister Erika Farias about the bureaucracy and told her to start opening accounts in the recently nationalized Banco de Venezuela so that councils have easier access to their funds.
Chavez denounced Banfoandes as holding large amounts of State money in private banks and wanted the bank director to get in touch with him. Yesterday, the Council of Economic Ministers met to discuss the situation of the banks and penetration by capitalists masquerading as Bolivarians.
Another problem referred to was the fact that, while Chavez appoints ministers, the ministers appoint their own people as vice ministers ... some of whom are not up to the task they are entrusted with.
The difficulties that Socialist rural companies are facing in placing their products on the market were discussed and several solutions were offered, such as selling black beans directly to the local Armed Force garrison.