Sunday, February 14, 2016

Electricity shortage horrors

Before mentioning that I was victim last Friday I am going to mention briefly the last electricity horror shortage.  A few years ago, on account of El Niño, Chavez started an ambitious, no expense spared, plan to generate enough thermal electric energy to save us from the vagaries of the Caroni river from which, if well managed, we could get more than three quarters of our electricity. He went on one of his many idiocies implying that too many dams would dry down the "poor" river as an excuse for all the immense delays on the magnificent planning left by previous governments.

The only result of all of this was a stupendous corruption that created the fortunes of people like Derwick and associates and left us today, believe it or not, with an even worse crisis than 5 years ago, and this starting with LESS industrial product than we had then. Read anything from Alek Boyd to convince yourself.

Last Friday it was quimo for my S.O. and the treatment place is in a specialty clinic that occupies a whole story of a building associated with a commercial center. The regime has decided that malls and the like would have mandatory rationing of electricity and would have to close down AC, elevators, escalators and even water pumps for a few hours a day, including during lunch breaks. Just like that.

Unfortunately for us the clinic is attached to a mall and is treated as such, regardless.

We should have realized it would be different when our customary time slot was advanced to 11 AM. When we arrived we were told that any food should be purchased by 12:30 as the elevators would be shut down until 3 PM. Any physiological necessity should also be taken care off by that time because within minutes the pipes would empty and there would be no more running water until sometime after 3 PM. In a medical facility.

Even though we were late due to frantic traffic, which I guess in retrospective was probably due to people trying to get things done before noon, we managed to get the S.O. hooked up before 11:30 and all the sundries and my sushi set in place by noon so I could eat it watching the drip... Note; I always get sushi because I think that for the other patients it is the least offensive food, visually and olfactory. After all, some of us need to last for several hours.

They had to open the windows but the day not being warm we could manage. Otherwise everything else went normally except for the lack of water. We were done a little bit past 2. They had an elevator called. At least one elevator is available on demand, manually operated for the clinic only. Everybody else on foot. Important as, even if valid, most patients are always somewhat shaken after quimio, which was our case. We reached ground floor but surprise, there is no elevator to go underground to the car. And there was no way the SO could walk down in the dark all that distance... After some discussion I finally left him at one fo the exits, going down only one of the escalators (more difficult than stairs I have you know for a sick person).

The parking was closed. All in the dark except for some of the emergency lights. You discover that the lack of replacement batteries have made parking lots a major hazard in Venezuela in case of fire: there is simply no way to find the exit!!!!!!! At least they disposed several attendants with flashlights but in case of fire?  Of course I was in the last basement. An attendant offered to accompany me but there was enough twilight and I am used to that parking enough that I declined. Unfortunately the last ground had no light. None except for a very distant corner tiny energy light dimming fast. It was not even enough to see my hand! What to do?

With one foot I slowly found what I knew to be the last step. Then, on flat ground, since I knew my car was not too far I hoped for the alarm signal to reach the car. It did and lit up inside the car. I could go slowly to my car but the light was not enough to show any obstacle (and I nearly was done in by one).  Once inside I could drive with my head lights in full and make my way to the toll booth. But the problem came next: the exit I planned to take to pick up my S.O. was closed until 3! And down there was no cell phone signal. And I was not going to have him walk all across the mall to pick him up. Followed a heated argument with an attendant.

Eventually he let me pass though the blocked way letting me know that the electric gate above may not work until 3. But that was not the worst. He explained that the whole ordeal was not a lack of planning from them, that they had no say in what to close down. It was the government itself that came on the first day and started to bring down the breakers themselves!

That is, they did not come and say "listen guys, you are consuming 100 a day. You have to bring that down to 50 a day. You have a week to manage that. Your problem".

They just came the fascist way, turned down whatever they wanted to turn down and that was that. I think that it is in small examples like that, examples that speak by themselves, that you find the real reasons why these people must be expelled from office.

I wonder how one elevator managed to escape altogether. Maybe attendants hid that particular breaker? Maybe one official has a relative on quimo there?


  1. Sorry to read about your problems at the clinic with your SO. I know things will get worse there, until the regime can be taken down.

    Keep up your blog, been reading you for years, since moving to Ecuador. It continues to be an interesting read!

  2. milehigh ben5:06 PM

    Daniel you said you were "victim", were you robbed? What happened?
    One more thing, you said you were done at the clinic a little after two, why didn't you wait till 3 to go back home?
    There are over seven million people that expressed their disgust just a couple of months ago what else will it take for them to rise up and "storm the castle"?

    1. You do not need to get robbed to be a victim.

  3. It is an absolute shame what is going on in Venezuela and the struggles for so many. Is like the punishment for all the greed the ignorant poor demonstrated in giving Chavez so much power.
    For those of you living this do you not think the opposition assembly is doing more harm then good in their constant message that they will constitutionally with non violence remove Maduro and his regime? They are pushing complacency by the people that a reasonable solution exists. Pure false hope. There is no constitution anymore and hasn't been one since Chavez. The message from the Assembly should be simply that democracy does not exist. That they are powerless to change the government as is a dictatorship? Why the false hope for a solution that allows people to be complacent?

  4. You do need to wise up a bit to live in those conditions. First I would hire a reliable taxi to go back and forth. Two hire a helper, somebody who can go back and forth, carry food, etc. and for crissakes don't buy sushi. You can't afford to get sick with the junk they put in sushi in Caracas. Take it from somebody who survived Cuba, the Soviet Union, Venezuela, several African and Asian countries and coonass Looisiana.

    1. I am immune by now. And I have a stock of Loperam. Just in case.

  5. The greed of a businessman working within the established economic system typically brings good things to a country. But the greed of public officials to get as much power and riches as possible creates corruption and eats away at the legal and moral foundations of a country.

    Thus, as Maria Gabriela - Hugo Chavez's favorite daughter amassed in a few years her $4.2 billion dollar fortune, it was not the wealth accumulated by a businesswoman working within the system. Rather it was wealth stolen from the country in ways that spread corruption, destroyed business and destroyed lives.

    It was not just Hugo Chavez's daughter that got fabulously wealthy. The Castro brothers accumulated a couple billion in wealth mostly from expediting various criminal activities in Venezuela.

    In all, it is estimated that at least $100 billion of the oil money from PDVSA sold after 1999 was siphoned away and stolen by various cronies of Hugo Chavez and now Maduro.

    One problem is that when money is stolen at such a grand scale, it creates much more corruption up and down the chain as everyone who can follows the example of those above them and takes what they can. Therefore, anyone at PDVSA that could find a way to siphon some of the money from the company to his or her own pocket did so. The $100 billion taken at the top would be matched or exceeded by the money stolen by everyone else.

  6. me dices que las lagrima!s valen algo! Bamba, 1!!

  7. Daniel it surprises me that coming from Yaracuy and after suffering the power shortages in the inner parts of the country you don´t carry a flashlight with you. May i suggest a small one like the Maglite XL-50, it is small, give plenty of light a can be fed with alkaline AAA´s batteries or rechargeable ones (I use Eneloop´s, now Panasonic).
    In the worst case scenario almost any android phone has a light in the form of the "camera flash" or a white screen

    1. Charly5:34 AM

      Sorry my man but in Venezuela, they are back to silex.

  8. Anonymous7:06 AM

    omg....Daniel is there anything a person in Canada can do that might be of some have been, for ages, 'me' in Venezuela, giving me a front seat view...thank you for that..
    I have recently gone through a chemo series...could try and help there, or elsewhere.

  9. Anonymous10:54 PM

    Pobre, sufrir esta situacion es horrible, lo siento por Uds. pero la situacion alla es aun peor con los militares montando su compania petrolera particular , que significa esto? golpe de estado? o viveza? La maga lee


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