Last week, the governors of the largest Venezuelan states (all of them part of the opposition) unsuccessfully asked for a meeting with President Hugo Chavez to discuss the huge funding shortfalls they’re facing.
Most, if not all 23 States of the country are constantly struggling to make ends meet. But there’s one place in the nation where cash flow is not a problem.
A brand new territory made of small islands, with a little more than 2,000 inhabitants.
The Miranda Insular Territory was announced almost a year ago, then formally created in November 2011 and came officially into effect in January of this year. The territory includes part, but not all of the already existing Federal Dependencies and the capital will be located in Gran Roque, the only permanent settlement in Los Roques archipelago.
Given their late creation, the new entity couldn’t be included right away in the 2012 Budget, so the Chavernment approved a special credit of 974 million Bs. to be used in a new development plan by the new appointed authority of the area: former Admiral Armando Laguna Laguna.
The money given to this new territory already surpasses the constitutional income (known as situado) of six states combined. An opposition deputy has denounced that money of other states and municipalities have been diverted.
Meanwhile, the rest must do what they can to survive with the little money Miraflores sends them every now and then. The current debt of the central government with the regions is around 15.000 million Bolivars.
Chavismo refuses to even discuss a bill to give more financial autonomy to the states, because for them the “communal state” is the only way to go. However, they eventually have to deal with a huge debt of their own. Las carrozas y desfiles no son gratis…