NOW you're talking
Responding to the recent floods in Venezuela, here's my hero Hugo. (Really, it's surprising how many heroes there are, and no, I don't mean to include any police force anywhere in that category):
President Hugo Chávez on Sunday offered Miraflores Presidential Palace as a “symbolic” place of refuge for 100 people, or 26 families. “Today I have ordered that they move to Miraflores…where we recently built rooms, small residential units, for the comrades of the security [staff],” said Chávez who cancelled his weekly television address to visit affected areas of Falcon state....The guy is thinking about expropriating golf courses? Oh sweet Jesus, take me now. I can die content. What's next, downhill ski areas? It's too much happiness to bear.
On Wednesday, as Chávez received 26 affected families at Miraflores Palace, he called on all Venezuelans, including ministers, governors and mayors, to open their homes to flood victims.
“This is a national emergency, and it is time to leave aside personal comforts, egoisms, and open our hearts and homes to our fellow Venezuelans,” said Chávez on Venezuela de Television (VTV). He also called on the offices of the vice presidency, publicly owned Channel 8 and other government-owned buildings to remodel one floor of each building for emergency housing. Chávez assured the families that within one year they will leave Miraflores and move directly into their own homes or apartments.
Venezuela’s National Assembly on Tuesday approved the first of two drafts of the Emergency Law for Housing and Urban Terrain which, according to the Venezuelan News Agency (AVN), allows the State to “decree the creation of emergency zones for the occupation of urban terrain apt for housing.” If and when this new law is passed, lands that are either “unused or underutilized” – including a number of extensive golf courses located near major highways outside of Caracas referred to by Chávez last Sunday – become possible targets for expropriation.