Venezuela's Hugo Chavez approves construction of 'Israeli village'

Thursday, September 20, 2012 |  Yossi Aloni

Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez may have severed diplomatic ties with Israel in favor of a strategic union with Iran, but that didn't stop him from recently signing an agreement with an Israeli company to build an Israeli-style moshav, or cooperate village.

The moshav will be built near Venezuela's Caribbean coast about 95 miles from the capital of Caracas. Construction will be carried out by AlefBet Planners LTD, one of the largest and most experienced architectural firms in Israel.

Despite the diplomatic tension with Israel, Venezuela loved the Israeli model, and decided to fund a government project that could see several such villages built at a cost of $400 million each. Nor is AlefBet Planners the only Israeli company that will benefit from the contract.

The "Israeli village" will consist of 500 living units, educational facilities, a dairy farm complete with milk production plant, grazing fields, and water and sewage treatment.

Kobi Bogin, general manager of AlefBet Planners, explained: "In Venezuela we will implement Israeli knowhow as regards the building of cooperate villages and kibbutzim. Difficulties encountered during the project have and will allow us to bridge the cultural differences that divide Venezuela and Israel."

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