President Nicolás Maduro said Thursday that Socialist Mission Bases should be the epicenter of the Bolivarian Revolution, as well as of a new social economy and a new vision of territorial development.
“The system of missions we have created will allow us to further the socialist model where we will prosper and make progress towards equality among all,” he said during a speech in Miraflores Presidential Palace.
He then announced that construction on 1,500 Social Mission Bases will begin on October 1. They will be built in neighborhoods constructed through the Great Housing Mission and will help the middle class.
The President noted that the government is visiting these grassroots offices once a month and will recognize communities where offices are working efficiently.
“We will give prizes to three of these bases per month, and that means that the bases that are well-kept, clean, working and offer services from all social missions will be awarded a prize for the community,” he explained.
Maduro emphasized that over the past month 4,000 assemblies have been held in the communities where the 1,500 bases are being prioritized in order to identify the community’s problems and create the necessary planning and organization to solve them.
New Socialist Bases
On Thursday, the fiftieth Socialist Mission Base was inaugurated in Carabobo state, which became the first state to reach its goal of building said offices.
Maduro congratulated the governor and state officials for their efforts in building Socialist Missions Bases, which are aimed at eradicating extreme poverty throughout the country.
In that regard, he recalled that he had previously announced that the first three states to finish building their Socialist Mission Bases would be award special public works which the national government would fund and that would be aimed at meeting their populations’ needs.
According to Aragua Governor Tareck El Aissami, his state became the second to meet its goal these bases when construction was completed on the 13th base, located in Girardot municipality.
El Aissami indicated that the 13th base will attend to three areas made up of 1,182 homes, and that 993 of those homes have been visited, with services provided to 3,394 people.
Zulia Governor Francisco Arias Cárdenas noted that his state is building 214 Socialist Mission Bases, 70% of which are currently under construction.
In Falcón, a Socialist Mission Base named after President Chávez was recently opened. It will serve 1,462 people from five neighborhoods. Meanwhile, in Barinas, a Base named “Dignity’ was opened, which will serve approximately five thousand people.
The state of Trujillo just inaugurated its first base, which will attend to 457 families in two neighborhoods.
Anti-Smuggling Measures and a Review of Fuel Distribution
During the President’s speech, he ordered an intervention into PDVSA’s National Fuel Office through a decree that was proposed by the National Anti-Smuggling Commission.
Maduro indicated that domestic distribution of fuel will remain normal and stable, but that it will be reviewed “state by state, municipality by municipality, regardless of who is involved” in order to “criminal mafias” because there is the “will to do so.”
In that regard, he explained that the entire process of distributing fuel and other oil products will be reviewed.
Moreover, the President announced that he will reform the Law on Fair Prices via the Enabling Law in order to strengthen the fight against organized crime involved in smuggling.
“We are going to go beyond, not just in seizing and confiscating what we find at the moment, but going beyond to investigate the [bank] accounts of these groups, [and] all of their properties, because the battle is going to be intensified,” he affirmed.
President Maduro also said that 2,500 tons of food and 830,000 liters of fuel have been seized through anti-smuggling operations that the government has conducted near the border over the past month.
He noted that border crossing restrictions, put in place as another measure in the struggle against smuggling, will be extended for another three months.
“They have been working and it was proposed that I extend the presidential measure I issued to restrict the transfer of goods and people in border areas and the special measures for prosecuting and punishing smuggling. I am going to extend these measures for three months as of [Thursday] and [Friday] morning the decree will be published,” President Maduro said.
AVN / Press – Venezuelan Embassy in the US / September 11, 2014