The capital of Venezuela, Caracas, is alive with mechanical cranes and construction workers as highrise office blocks and luxury apartments spring up throughout the city.
GV Lines of cars moving slowly through freeway traffic jam in Caracas (2 shots)
GV High rise buildings going up and workmen on site (3 shots)
SV ZOOM OUT Building foundations showing sewage and other pipes
GV News skyscrapers PAN TO Nearby highrise buildings (2 shots)
GV Slum district of San Augustin, Caracas showing cluster of shanties (2 shots)
SV Children in slum street
LV Women of flat roof top with washing on line
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Background: The capital of Venezuela, Caracas, is alive with mechanical cranes and construction workers as highrise office blocks and luxury apartments spring up throughout the city. But a soaring growth of the urban population has produced a massive housing shortage throughout Venezuela, and thirty-five per cent of its thirteen million inhabitants live in shanty towns. Despite promises by the Herrera Campins government to reduce Venezuela's foreign debt, it now stands at twenty-five thousand million dollars, in a country with spiralling oil revenues. For those who live in the shanty towns it means no wanter, no electricity and no medical services. And it's estimated that six hundred thousands houses are urgently needed.
SYNOPSIS: According to a business survey published in the spring on 1979, Venezuela has developed much faster than its people, and its capacity for change. The capital of Caracas reflects many of the problems of the whole country. Active work sites seem to reflect progress. But entire apartment buildings remain empty because most people can't afford prices running as high as one thousand dollars a square metre in Caracas.
Modern skyscrapers filling the gaps in an already dramatic skyline contrast starkly with the clusters of make-shift shanties on the surrounding hills.
Six out of ten Venezuelans now live in big cities. But, according to Reuters news agency, in three of the country's six major cities, more than half the population inhabit shanty towns like this one in San Augustin, Caracas.