Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hugo Chavez Sets Sights on Caracas Country Club

A New York Times story, that can be found here, says that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is looking to take over the Caracas Country Club, one of the last bastions of elitist wealth, to create housing for people displaced by recent heavy rains.

"A state newspaper published a study this month saying that if the government expropriated the land of the Caracas Country Club and that of another club in the city, housing for 4,000 poor families could be built on the parcels," reads the Times article.

The course is one of the last designs of Charles Banks. According to George Bahto's biography of Charles Blair Macdonald, The Evangelist of Golf , the layout was constructed from 1928 to 1930. Banks died in 1931.

According to the Times story, the grounds of Caracass CC designed by the Olmsted Brothers, who are best known for creating parks, public and private, as well as college campuses.

The demise of Caracas CC appears inevitable.

"We are waiting,” Manuel Fuentes, 69, the country club’s vice president, said to the Times in the English he learned as a teenager while studying at the New York Military Academy. “It would be a tragedy for the city to lose such an icon, but it’s a scenario we’ve been forced to acknowledge."

Caracas CC hosted the OMEGA Mission Hills World Cup Latin American qualifier in 2009. The Venezuelan team of Jhonattan Vegas and Alfredo Adrian qualified and went on to place 12th out of 28 teams in the World Cup played in China that year.

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