Hugo Chavez expropriated over 1,000 private businesses and enterprises. The Miami Herald reports on one of the properties, the Sambil mall in Caracas, now closed and covered with grafiti:
Two malls tell a tale of Venezuelan capital flight
Before a single product was sold, the mall became one of the more than 1,000 businesses and properties Chávez expropriated during his 14 years as president.
Four and a half years later, the mall-that-wasn’t takes up an entire city block. It’s cordoned off from the public for most of the year. Since the seizure, its parking garage has seen service as a makeshift shelter for Venezuelans who have lost their homes to flooding. Designed to uplift a decaying neighborhood, its brick and granite façades are covered by a mosaic of murals marred with graffiti and campaign slogans.
Compare that to a $200-million sister mall in the Dominican Republic — built by the same Venezuelan developer, Sambil.
When it opened earlier this year off a busy highway in the capital of Santo Domingo, President Danilo Medina cut the ribbon. With a 16,000-square-foot indoor aquarium, a grocery store, movie theater and 325 shops, this Sambil mall is thriving.
US$20 billion/year has left Venezuela over the past five years, some of it going to the Dominican Republic,
In recent years Venezuelan companies have invested $920 million in the Dominican Republic, according to the Dominican Republic Export and Investment Center.
Thousands of jobs, thousands of businesses, billions of dollars leaving: that’s what the Bolivarian revolution has wrought.
Apparently the Chavista community organizers are leaving the party (link in Spanish). I’m sure Diosdado Cabello is paying attention.