Global Politics

Making the people's bicycle

(What's the idea behind the bicycles there?) It's rather curious, bicycles are extremely rare here. but the government is now trying to encourage it. (This is not a bike friendly place, I hear.) That's true. Caracas is a very congested city and it's not bike friendly. (What's the incentive?) the incentive is more for smaller towns and the idea is that if the people are given an alternative method of transport which is heavily subsidized then they're going to use it. (Tell us about the socialist factories for making these bicycles.) It's due to open in the next few days and it's a joint development between Venezuela and Iran, and this will be one of a few factories�there'll be more for producing cement, cars and tractors, using Iranian technology. (I'm curious about Hugo Chavez's moves and how else he's affected ordinary Venezuela.) This is part of what he considers creating a better country and a safer place, and he recognizes the role of the media in this. Just a couple of months ago, The Simpsons was banned during family hour from being aired and Chavez believed The Simpsons didn't represent Venezuelan families.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)

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