President Nicolas Maduro and his ministerial team have been criss-crossing Venezuela as part of the “Gobierno de Calle”, or “Street Government”, initiative. The latest stop was in the Andean state of Mérida, situated to the west of Venezuela.
Under the initiative, government ministers travel to Venezuela’s regional states, holding meetings with citizen groups and considering different proposals for regional development. After several days of such meetings, various projects are approved and set in motion.
On Wednesday President Maduro spoke at the close of the Street Government in Mérida, where he announced the approval of 93 public works and projects, and argued that the Street Government was creating a more efficient and participatory form of governance.
“The moment of having an articulated system of government is going to arrive, one that allows for attention to the smallest detail, so that resources really arrive and don’t stay within channels of bureaucracy and corruption,” the president said.
Promoting industrial development
Industry, agriculture, tourism and highway improvement figured prominently among the projects approved for Mérida state.
A plant to treat and bottle mineral water, a shoe and clothing factory, and a cement production complex were all granted financing to boost the industrial development of the Andean entity, whose economy is largely based on agriculture, tourism and services.
Public social works approved included the construction of a “sports court for peace” and the renovation of the region’s schools.
Maduro also highlighted projects aimed to benefit women, such as the incorporation of 623 women in poverty into the Mothers of the Barrio social program, and the construction of a women’s shelter.
Further, the government reports that over 800 women will benefit from the approval of agricultural and tourism projects in the region.
According to Ramón Lobo, a legislator for the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), the investments announced for Mérida by the central government are more that the total annual budget of the regional Mérida state administration, which is also run by a PSUV governor.