If the electrons oppose us, we shall fight against them and force them to obey us

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Quico says: The revolution’s Woody Allenesque extremes of paranoia reached a weird zenith last week with this story about the three Edelca engineers who took the rap for the last Sunday’s massive blackout and ended up in jail on vague charges of sabotage.

In the event, the three were released fairly quickly, as there was no evidence whatsoever to pin the blame on them for the problems of a grid that’s been groaning for years under the strain of under-investment and neglect.

Still, that didn’t stop chavismo from spreading intelligence operatives throughout Edelca and Cadafe facilities to try to flush out the imperialist saboteurs they see lurking at every corner.

Some deeply cynical part of me can’t stop laughing at the thought of these goons, rifles slung over their shoulders, hanging around menacingly around Cadafe, sporadically lurking uncomprehendingly over the shoulders of these highly trained technical personnel, implicitly threatening to throttle the first guy they see if anything goes wrong. Must do wonders for employee morale, that one!

The part I really can’t figure out is, if you’re just an regular Disip/DIM Joe, how would you even know if the electrical engineer directly in front of you has just sabotaged the grid? I mean, short of them taking a sledgehammer to some Lost-in-Space looking control panel – all flashing lights and beeping beeps – surely all you’d see was a guy pushing some combination of buttons and then the grid going down.

The whole electrification through the barrel of a gun thing would be really really funny, if it wasn’t because Honny Vásquez, Rodolfo Ortega and Adán Ramos are real people with real families and real careers to worry about, who’ve now been forever branded as unreliable elements by the revolution’s commisars. What future could those three have?

Not much of one, is my guess, at least not inside Venezuela. Cuz finding solutions is hard…but finding scapegoats? Dead easy…

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Known to friend and foe alike as Quico, Francisco Toro is Executive Editor at Caracas Chronicles.

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