Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro pledged Wednesday to construct 200 socialist-run “communes” over the course of 2021.
Maduro claimed the construction would honor the bicentennial of the Battle of Carabobo between independence fighters and Spanish colonialists.
According to remarks published in state media, Maduro said the Plan 200 Carabobo is the result of a lengthy debate and consultations about how to help restore “balance” to the lives of desperate Venezuelans, the majority of whom are now living in extreme poverty.
“We are determined to build the 200 communities in 2021,” he declared. “The goal is to recover and rebuild the balance of social, political, community, family, and economic life in the country.”
Maduro explained the communes are a “concept inherent to the Bolivarian Revolution, to [Hugo] Chávez, [Simón] Bolívar, the permanent revolution, and the revolution within the revolution. I have been saying for a while that Venezuela needs big changes.”
The dictator went on to explain that the project will take place under the Law of Communes that establishes them as a “system of a defined territorial axis that has a shared historical memory, customs, and cultural features that identify them … with political, administrative and economic purposes that pursue a model of a socialist society of equity and justice.”
During his address, one of many regularly broadcast on state television, Maduro also confirmed he had signed contracts with the Russian government to purchase 10 million doses of the country’s Sputnik V experimental vaccine candidate, despite widespread concerns among health experts about both its efficacy and safety.
“We are currently completing Phase Three clinical trials for the Sputnik V vaccine and it is going very well,” he declared. “In the next 90 days, Venezuela will begin to safely vaccinate our comrades, prioritized by age, profession, level of vulnerability.”
Maduro also admitted that increasing dollarization of the Venezuelan economy is taking place, but described it as a safety valve for people to keep their savings because of alleged relentless imperialist attacks from the U.S. against the country’s economy. He also confirmed that, despite being considered effectively worthless, the bolívar will remain the official currency of Venezuela.
“The experiments against the Venezuelan economy have not been successful and Venezuela has found its way to alleviate this situation,” he declared. Reports indicated last month that the regime was in talks with local banks to discuss the creation of a “clearing and settlement system in U.S. dollars starting next year.”