Caesar Chavez's City in the Jungle--What God Could Have Done If He'd Only Had the Money
Chávez's 'Socialist City' Rises First of Several Grand Projects in Venezuela Reflects Leader's Monopoly on Big Decisions
By Juan Forero Washington Post Foreign Service Tuesday, November 27, 2007; A10
Flying in his helicopter north of Caracas over forests filled with monkeys and tropical birds, the president suddenly had a eureka moment -- he would carve a self-sustaining, self-contained city from the wilderness. Chávez envisioned this as the first of several utopian cities, a bold plan reflecting both Venezuela's capacity for undertaking ambitious projects and the president's growing propensity for making all major decisions.
"He told me, 'I want to see if it's possible,' " recalled Ramón Carrizales, minister of housing. "So we began to explore it, and we found vast tracts that could be utiliz…