Friday, April 08, 2011

ZeeZap! Splat! Electric crisis back with a vengenace.

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.....


  1. Anonymous9:02 AM


    Do you know if hospitals (private or otherwise) have their own electricity generators? I assume that small clinics don't. I hate to think of a tooth half drilled at the time of a blackout.

    I'm not too concerned about night clubs, which are dark anyway. And not just because of my age, but because they are full of chavista new-rich.


  2. Boludo Tejano10:25 AM

    The OPSIS website, which was a primary source of of data on electricity generation in Venezuela, disappeared some months ago. It disappeared AFTER the Guri reservoir levels had recovered from their dangerously low levels of early 2010.
    My guess is that some blogmeister in the regime saw that complaints about electricity were correlated with number of hits on the OPSIS website, and decided to make a preemptive hit.
    If there is negative publicity about Guri dam's level or about inoperable turbines at Guri or at the thermoelectric plants, refuse access to the data.
    Deep six the website, and reduce the complaints. A rather Soviet method.

  3. Daniel you are wrong. The shortage is due from economic growth and therefore your logic is faulty. Shortages do not cause lack of economic growth; economic growth causes shortages. Just ask Ali Rodriquez if you don't believe me. >:)

  4. Yet another argument for making Chavez dictator! His special Enabling Act powers were voted due to the heavy rains, and now, with the dry season on its way, he has only talk-show powers to combat it.

    Will the last PSUVista leaving for Cuba turn off the lights? Oh never mind, they are out already.

  5. "What Mr. Duquenal will do is try to steal electricity instead, something he could already be doing if he wanted to."

    Bingo: In a nutshell, the essence of 21st century socialism- after all why should anyone who is not a capitalist pig have to pay for what is necessary,and what could be considered a God -given right...????????

    and this slippery slope is for ALL of us...

    Self perception is a funny thing.

    As a mother I know very well that spoiling is one of the worst things can you can do to a child, and one of the hardest things to undo.Once kids get a good taste of the easy way out, gravity keeps them in place.I can hear a sad mother complaining : "He gastado una fortuna en mi hijo pero es la muerte en Coco :( "

    We have that here in USA as well.All the" poorest" people I know are entirely subsidized by the government, but " middle class" people like yours truly , have to work and sacrifice to obtain even less.I own no blackberry, no flat screen TV,have no cable TV, rarely take a small vacation , don't drink or smoke, don't party, wear simple clothes, cook simple meals etc. etc.....but I am one of the privileged middle class.
    How convenient for the "poor" :) to have me to resent.

  6. Charly6:16 PM

    Daniel, I beg you to measure your words: "further social anarchy". Some of us are anarchists, in fact proud anarcho-capitalists and we can be very sensitive. You perhaps mean "further social chaos". Until we get real anarchy, I believe that this country needs more chaos until the top blows off, then we may be able to install anarchy but looking back at history it is perhaps just a dream. Meanwhile yesterday's blackout was a step forward towards our goal.

  7. Must add:

    How do I define 'Middle Class' by current standards? Or what is the definition of a 21st century middle class citizen?

    Answer :He who is willing to work hard to be poor, in order that the poor can hang out in middle class.

  8. Island Canuck2:36 PM

    Yesterday our supreme idiot blamed the opposition for the failures in the electric system.
    He didn't give any examples of how they are doing it but that he is investigating.

    Chávez sobre el apagón: “la burguesía tenía el aquelarre (orgía, griterío, bulla)porque se fue la luz, pero les duró poco”. "Seguramente la burguesía (oposición) está detrás de todo, por eso lo estamos investigando", agregó.

  9. The thing about "apagones" or electricity blackouts in Venezuela, in that the Chavez supporters don't really get pissed, since they mostly Steal their electricity in the cerros and caserios. The middle and upper classes, and the poor people who actually PAY for the service can't be too happy. Especially in Venezuela, a rich oil country. (THis happens every week in Dominican Republic, for instance, but all they have is bananas and corn, and stuff, no oil)

  10. "He who is willing to work hard to be poor, in order that the poor can hang out in middle class." True, so true.


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