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Comunas. A Presentation by: Will Sefcik, Sika Abbey, Yanira Lopez, Annie Goodrich, Maria E. Zavala. What Is A Comuna ?. A system in which a country or smaller divisions of a country are separated Very similar to feudalism from the Middle Ages A part of European society as well

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A Presentation by:

Will Sefcik, Sika Abbey, Yanira Lopez, Annie Goodrich, Maria E. Zavala

what is a comuna
What Is A Comuna?
  • A system in which a country or smaller divisions of a country are separated
  • Very similar to feudalism from the Middle Ages
  • A part of European society as well
  • Can be associated with socialism


Comunas can fulfill a specific purpose for society

  • Men and women fulfill different roles
  • May be governed by a municipal council

around the world
Around the World
  • Comunas can be found around the world
  • France
  • Russia (Socialism)

  • The city of Buenos Aires is divided into 48 barrios (neighborhoods or districts) for administrative purposes. The decision was originally based on the catholic parroquias (parishes), but has undergone a series of changes in the 40’s. A newer scheme has divided the city into 15 comunas (communes).
  • These comunas allows citizens to practice their citizenship by allowing them to play a role in the decisions made by the government

In 1994 the city of Buenos Aires amended its constitution becoming autonomous from the rest of the country to manage itself through its local government.

  • October 2001 they begin to implement comunas in Buenos Aires
  • Every Comunas had 7 members, who were elected by each district as representatives of their own comunas .
  • September 2005, the  1777 organic act of 2005 enacted comunas to be fully transitioned by the end of the year 2006.

Goals of the Organic Act of 2005:        

  • Decentralizing the government        
  • Ensuring sustainable development        
  • Equality and Redistribution        
  • Restoring cultural identity of the city        
  • Improving efficiency of the government
  • Promoting direct democracy within the Buenos Aires       
  • Facilitating citizen participation
  • April 2006 Under Chavez, the Venezuelan government passed the Law of the Communal Councils, which allows local citizens to form neighborhood councils with the purpose of overseeing local politics
  • The number of registered comunas (different from Communal Councils) in 2009 was about 20,000
  • State funds are used to finance social projects within the community

Budget as of 2007 5 billion USD as well as 50 percent of all Venezuelan petroleum revenue, with each council allotted between 14,000 – 28,000 USD per project.

  • The goal is to achieve a higher level of participatory democracy
  • The jurisdiction of each Communal Council range from 200-400 families and is based on the territory in which people live
  • Each Comuna focuses on a different activity
  • Organized approved by the central government
  • Members of the comunas solve their own problems with the help of the government
    • Traditional local governments bypassed
    • Primate entities generally excluded Some comunas are more politically complex than others
  • More Comunas have been approved for rural areas of Venezuela
gender control
Gender & Control
  • Most who participate in the comunas - at the grassroots level - are woman
  • Men fill the positions that require more responsibility
what are they what are they used for how many

What are they, what are they used for, how many?

Infocentro:Initiative in favor of technological literacy; is a site that makes information and communication technologies (TIC), primarily internet connected computer terminals.

Managed by Communal Councils

Provide access to low-income sectors, at no costs.

Access to internet through the Simón Bolívar satellite

There are 866 in all over the country

Through alliances with businesses and government funds

relationship between a comuna and an infocentro

Infocentros as a source of power

  • -Infocentros shape the use of power by strengthening relationships and values that support the new model socialist country.
  • -Strengthen people\'s power, and thereby achieve the inclusion of large sections of the population in the use of information and communication technologies, their appropriation and use by communities and social networks that respond to local needs, regional and national forming cooperative social networks, information and knowledge.
  • -The explosion of communal power infocentros serve as a unifying core for community activities.
Relationship between a Comuna and an Infocentro
revoluci n bolivariana
  • Open software is used by the communal councils
  • In 2011, government claims that 1.25 million people became literate by using informational technology
  • Possible exaggeration??
  • “a community servant, committed to the revolutionary process and their community” whose “fundamental role is to guarantee that the commune can make effective use of the socio-technological space”.
power and benefits of infocentros
Power and benefitsof Infocentros
  • Overcoming the digital division by outlining actions to contribute to decrease the digital gap b/t the poor and the rich
  • Social service allocation to the comunasas a strong popular base to help reduce the reliance on private media outlets
    • Small financial elites gatekeepers of media information
    • i.e., 2002 Coup d’ Etat lack of broadcast
  • Key connectors between the barrios/comunasand the people
  • Produce a more participatory democracy
  • Internet freedom in order to overcome efforts by dictatorships to control information and accelerate “political, social and economic change.

Increase the flow of information

Interconnects comunaswith technology to impede limitations to higher access to education

Helps generate social inclusion, through Information Science and Technology (ICT)

Citizens are active participants in the process of social transformation

Generate alternatives of expression and citizen participation andbetter opportunities in the workplace

Internet as a mobilization tool for strengthening Socialism

works cited
Works Cited
  • Jimenez, Antenea, Jeffery R. Webber, and Susan Spronk. "Building Socialism from Below: The Role of the Communes in Venezuela." Venezuela News, Views, and Analysis. N.p., 14 June 2010. Web. 11 Nov. 2012.
  • LeGrand, Geoff. "Venezuela’s Communes: Not as Radical as You Might Think." Council on Hemispheric Affairs. N.p., 24 Sept. 2010. Web. 11 Nov. 2012.
  • Comuna. In Wikipedia. Retrieved November 12, 2012.