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What drives the blackouts?

In case you missed it, there was another nationwide blackout eleven days ago which caught Nicolas Maduro offguard right in the middle of a cadena broadcast. This new failure in the power grid wasn’t the only problem recently: the people of Maturin lost all electricity for almost an entire week thanks to “hurricane-like winds” that…

bombillos-incandescentes

Lightbulb Fiasco

Way back in 2006, the comandante eterno launched a brand new mission: Energy Revolution (Misión Revolución Energética), which intended to promote “the efficient and rational use of electricity”. Even if the plan also included developing alternative sources of energy in the long term (and unsurprisingly that’s hasn’t gone well so far), its main priority was…

I-guana blame the right wing for this

A super-massive blackout is currently hitting large chunks of Venezuela. Surprised? Probably not. But Nicolás Maduro sure is surprised. The President has gone to Twitter to call the event “strange” and “abrupt.” Rest assured, folks – he and our Armed Forces are taking care of the problem. Let’s just hope our obese generals let go…

Jesse Chacón’s report card

Shortly after taking office as the new Electricity Minister, Jesse Chacón made a big pledge: he would resign from his post if his 100-day plan did not achieve its proposed goals. The 100 days have now ended (if weekends and holidays are included in the count) and it’s time to review if Chacón has delivered…

The Maduro corruption tax = 60%

An excellent article from El Nacional on the high cost of building power plants in Venezuela. Because the government has basically sworn off procurement auctions, and instead resorts to buying stuff “from the rack,” corruption is rife. The money quote: “The general norm, says [industry expert] Aguilar, is for combined cycle plants to cost somehwere…

Not the brightest bulb

Electricity Minister Jesse Chacón said today that the government would raise electricity rates so that people who use too much electricity begin to pay more. This is a terrible idea. On the surface, Chacón’s idea would seem to make sense. The electricity sector is bankrupt, and part of the reason for this is that rates are…

Double dose of crazy

As many of you, I watched Nicolás Maduro’s speech last night in awe. Not only was it a rambling, incoherent mess; it also made clear what everyone seems to be catching on to – that Maduro is insane. For me, the most galling part was when he blamed the opposition for causing the electricity crisis.…

The electrical war, cont. (Updated)

Since the official annoucement of the “electrical war” last Thursday by Acting-(Like-a)-President Nicolás Maduro, things didn’t improve this weekend – to the point that some parts of Acarigua were in the dark last Sunday night when Mr. Maduro was in town. On Saturday, another major grid failure left several Southwestern states without electricity for a…

The electrical war

In a campaign rally in Cojedes today, Acting-(Like-a)-President Nicolás Maduro announced the creation of a brand new mission for the electricity sector, focus to fight what he calls an upcoming “electrical war”. To show strong leadership, he ordered a nationwide military deployment to all electrical stations and sub-stations to respond against an alleged opposition plan to “leave…