Today pretty much 3/4 of the country were left in the dark. Some areas like Yaracuy only for about an hour or less, some are still not quite back there. So, in spite of all the governmental propaganda, the electric crisis catches us right where it left us last year, and even worse since the regime announces that there will be a rationing "only for tonight" so that they can hook up who knows what, a novelty we never had before and that only leaves us thinking that today "accident" was in fact much worse than expected.
Very unfortunately for chavismo, it has run out of excuses, considering that the biggest lie of all, that the Guri dam was empty because of the dry season, is not the case this year: the dry season has not reached us in full, the rainy season is right around the corner and thus, what do you know?, the Guri is full of water. So they claim that a forest fire was able to turn off Venezuela's grid. Yeah, right, not realizing that people in the know would have taken previsions as the fire advanced to turn off some areas of the grid before it all collapsed as it did today.... they are idiots and they think we also are.
So, what happened? Why there has been no real advance on solving a problem that had been foretold and that hit us hard last year?
Let's start with the Guri. The dam complex that covers the lower Caroni river represents about 70% of Venezuelan electricity in normal days, and could go higher if the government had accomplished all the plans left by the "fourth" republic. But reaching Miraflores the first thing that Giordani did was to scrap all the new dams and postpone those which were about to start on some wild goose chase of the"eje Orinico Apure" project that never took place. Now all is at least half a decade behind schedule and no matter how much money the regime might be willing to throw behind these projects, we will not see fruition until around 2020, and then only enough to compensate the growing electric requirement due merely to population growth.
Which brings us to the consequences of the electric crisis. One is the inability of Venezuela to experience economic growth because there is simply not enough energy to fuel it. The only businesses that will be able to grow are those who long ago already did investment to self generate power or are able to do so now. In other word, specialized and unequal grow, not to say unfair as some sectors are in no condition to make such investments because of other governmental polices (such as price controls). There is simply no way that Venezuela can reach a sustainable real economic growth until the electric generation problem is at least partially solved. I do not need to elaborate on the social consequences of such a situation.
Coming back to the causes of the crisis we must finger point the extraordinary inefficiency of the regime in taking any of the palliative measures required to moderate the effects of the crisis. Not only the regime has been unable to create a rational rationing plan, but it has been unable to establish a price hike because that would have meant that the illegal electric consumers, mostly from the pro chavez sector, would have to start been charged some, even if a token charge. In other words, you cannot double Daniel Duquenal electric bill without letting him know that the squatters down the street who can afford Direct TV and flat screen TV are not charge a penny. What Mr. Duquenal will do is try to steal electricity instead, something he could already be doing if he wanted to. The inefficacy of the regime would ensure that it would take at least a year before someone noticed.....
And thus we reach another consequence of the crisis: further social anarchy, be it from the subway customers stranded in tunnels who know will refuse to pay the subway token and jump over the gate, to all sorts of people that simply will steal more and more light because they consider that there is no reason to pay for an ever worsening service.
That is socialism of the XXI century for you, at its best.
At least I had the pleasure to see that all the big words of Chavez and his ministers these recent weeks on the "end " of the electric crisis have come back to haunt them as they fell on their face, splat! Let's see if they can come up with a better excuse and program than "the people are overconsuming". Because even with the sabotage one they are advancing, as usual, they will not make it work if they do not manage to find at least one saboteur.....