The electricity crisis will end… in 20 years


There was another big electric failure in Lara and Yaracuy this week. No wild animal has been charged for the crime so far.

As the electricity crisis continues all around Venezuela, there could be an end in sight… in the year 2032.

As the Chavernment has indicated in its 2013 Budget Proposal, it will take two decades to solve all the problems, but one inmediate priority will be “incorporating the Popular Power in the administration of the National Electric System, under socialist values”.

One thing is the long term vision and other is the current reality: CORPOELEC workers staged demonstrations in front of the Electricity Ministry and the Vice-President’s Office. Beside their complaints over salaries, they have denounced that at least 40% of the overall energy is not charged.

One big reason: houses for the Gran Mision Vivienda Venezuela lack electricity meters and those users pay an estimate instead, based on the domestic appliances they have. In many cases, those washing machines and refrigerators come from the Mi Casa Bien Equipada program that Quico and I personally checked out weeks ago. Socialist efficiency at work!

Even those who gave the comandante presidente a third term are probably aware that the blackouts will continue for a while. Contrary to what Wikipedia indicates, the Venezuelan electric crisis is NOT over. It’s nowhere near that.

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    • Problem is, electrocution might actually be possible in the USSR, not in Venezuela, not at any rate with the electric service we have.

  1. “…incorporating the Popular Power in the administration of the National Electric System, under socialist values”=each “Revolutionary” citizen will receive 10 candles along with his/her monthly Mercal food ration”….

    • (1) input Brazil with fewer natural energy resources to see that country dwarf Vzla on hydroelectric production.
      (2) are Vzla’s production figures — last submitted for 2009 — reliable?

      • (1) Anyone who thinks Brazil has less natural energy resources when we are discussing hydroelectric production has apparently never looked at a map. You do know what the HYDRO means in hydroelectric production right?
        (2) When the statistics don’t say what you want them to say the best defense is to simply claim that they aren’t reliable. Pathetic.

        • (1) This may help you further your education, genius: . Hydro is not the only natural energy resource, available to both Brazil and Venezuela. Recall that I stated “natural energy resouces” — in plural. You know what plural means, right?
          (2) When people want to hide certain realities, they either make things up, or deliberately omit. Pathetic of you to feign innocence on this fundamental aspect among weasels.

          Here’s some more educational material: . Don’t you just love this statement?
          “Countries that manage these natural assets carefully are able to move up the development ladder – investing more and more in manufactured capital, infrastructure and “intangible capital” like human skills and education, strong institutions, innovation and new technologies.”

          • (1) Brazil has a higher percentage of their electricity production come from hydroelectric sources than Venezuela, making your statement about Brazil’s higher growth in production despite “fewer energy resources” that much more backwards. They have MORE of the relevant energy resources when discussing hydroelectric production. WAY more:

            (2) Yes, they do. Which is exactly why you have completely “made up” the notion that these statistics are unreliable. Because you want to “hide certain realities.” Excellent analysis of your own nonsense.

            Finally, when did this discussion have anything to do with relative levels of development or dependence on “natural capital”??? No one with a brain would argue that Venezuela has a higher level of economic development than Brazil. But, then again, no one with a brain would argue that Brazil has less resources for hydroelectric electricity production either, yet you did just that. Clearly I’m dealing with a complete idiot here.

          • BTW, you can’t even get the basic facts straight. Brazil doesn’t dwarf Vzla in hydroelectric production when you look in per capita terms. In fact, they produce only half of what Venezuela produces in per capita terms, despite much SUPERIOR hydro resources. Not only that, but growth in production since 2000 is 75% compared to 70% for Venezuela. You might want to, you know, get your shit straight before just “making things up.”

          • A pretty damning record for Chavez. Venezuela has had unsurpassed financial resources to put towards hydro electric development, which are the foremost lacking input (not the lack of places to put dams or power plants). Indeed, in Brazil dams are much more expensive and difficult to build, as they generally must be longer and larger to get the same head and generation. Venezuela has Optimal geology for dams,

            For Comparison, the Guri Damn accomplishes in one dam what in Brazil takes three.


            Then of course there’s Tayucay dam, which was planned when Chavez became president. He cancelled it, but then changed his mind some years later, though I can’t figure out for sure whether any construction work ever actually started. It would have had a much higher bang for the buck than the Belo Monte Dam in Brazil, low hanging fruit so to speak!

            Venezuela, according to the source you linked, has had a 21% surge in per Capita consumption, Brazil is about the same. Given that Hugo Chavez decided to not increase electricity costs, he could easily have foreseen that demand would increase rapidly. His failure to provide for that increase in demand is a damning indictment of his leadership. As you rightly point out, he only managed to provide for an increase that you’d expect in a market driven electricity market. You consistently provide solid evidence against Hugo Chavez. Cheers!

          • Yes, such a damning record given that total production has increased under his government at a faster rate than previously, and, as you yourself admit, per capita production has increased dramatically under his government. Hmmmm….

          • Instead of installed hydro per capita, try increased installation per increased income. It’s this latter ratio that spotlights chavez’s dismal failure.

          • So you consider a mathematical ration hot air? Way to avoid. Following, more detail.

            Let’s say income at a specific level is enough to install and maintain current hydro installations. Keep in mind that the cost to maintain is a very small percentage of the cost to install.

            Then income goes up times 5. But costs have not gone up by 5; let’s say times 2. So, with another two levels of income above the original there is necessarily enough to install a new amount of hydro equal to the old, and to maintain it as well.

            But there have not been two new levels of income; there’s been four! Yet, the increase in hydro is small compared to the increase in income. Again, instead of per capita, rates of increases of hydro versus income.

          • Ohhhh, now Clueless want to compare Braz and Vz on per capita terms! Why didn’t you stipulate that earlier? If you keep moving the end zone in arguments, simply to make yourself look better (I call that narcissism), you’ll never engage others in meaningful discussion. But you’ll always find a market for manipulation at aporrea.

            Getting back to hydroelectric production, now based on per capita terms, why would you be so selective without mentioning other critical aspects, such as total hydro production vs total hydro consumption, in both countries? I suspect that reality ísn’t your strong suit.

            In 2009, net hydroelectric production in Vz, after total consumption was met, was -302.89 Billion kWh. Yes, that’s right: negative. In Brazil, the net production was 377.02 Billion kWh. Obviously Brazil produces a huge surplus, likely for resale. As I said, Brazil’s hydroelectric production DWARFS that of Venezuela, a country far richer in total energy resources.

            What might the figures look like for 2012? That is, if we could rely on truthful submission from Venezuela. I would expect embarrassment, given the significant blackouts throughout the country.

            Obviously Venezuela can’t get its act together insofar as hydroelectric energy production. No wonder it has to invent excuses to cover up the inefficiencies.

          • Once again, zero facts, and lots of wrong assumptions, the most obvious of which being that we should see an increase in investment in hydroelectric production that is directly proportionate to increase in total income. Not only is that stupidly simplistic, it ignores that a poor country has countless areas which are of higher priority for investment than building dams. Oh, but I forgot, I’m telling this to the guy who thinks the government should give all its money away for free to the people, leaving it with even less to invest in development.

          • Syd,

            Amazing I have to explain this, but given that Brazil has nearly 7 times the population of Venezuela it wouldn’t make any sense at all to compare them in absolute terms. People with brains already know this, and don’t need it to be explained to them.

            As for the rest, if you can’t even recognize basic facts, there’s no sense pointing them out to you a second time. Production per capita in Venezuela is nearly twice that of Brazil. And, I’ll ask again, do you know what the HYDRO means in hydroelectric?

          • GAC, you must be some pimply twit to think that we wouldn’t know what Hydro means in hydroelectric. Do you want that definition in ancient greek or modern English? Better yet, go and diddle yourself on aporrea, where you can shine in comparison and give full vent to your narcissism.
            When I said that Vz was richer in total natural energy resources, I was referring to the total package: petroleum and natural gas, plus proven reserves, coal, and electricity. And that’s what makes its current deficiencies in hydroelectric power management so pitiful.
            Venezuela is not so much a poor country as it is an exceedingly poorly managed country, and never more so than by your idols in office: the zenith of corruption and incompetence, hidden under layers of palaver for suckers like you.

          • As expected, when you can’t refute the facts you burst into a nonsense tirade.

            I will repeat, Venezuela’s production has grown by 70% in the same time that Brazil’s grew by 75%. And anyone who claims that Venezuela is not a poor country obviously has no clue what makes a country rich (hint: it’s not oil wealth). Brazil is a much richer country than Venezuela. Anyone who says otherwise is a complete fool. (hint: you)

          • et a Clue,

            I like how you claim zero facts, yet you admit they were provided by making reference to them in your counter. Very propagandist of you.

            As to your claim that it was a wrong assumption to mention the increase of hydro production as a logical consequence to increased income, I will first point out that it was you who stated:

            “You haven’t demonstrated that it is more difficult to develop hydroelectric production in Brazil. … They have vastly more resources, and are a much more developed country than Venezuela.”

            So, you opened the door to the association between production and having resources as well as being more developed.

            Besides that, however, you now claim that the increased in income then should correspond to an improvement in the countless areas of “higher priority for investment than building dams” in a poor country. Assuming that you are right, then chavez’s dismal performance is then demonstratable in the lack of improvement in any of those areas at the same rate as the increase in income.

            In other words, which aspects of high importance to poor countries has improved more than 5-fold, given that even money from possible hydro production improvements is being diverted to these other aspects?

            As to the cash distribution, you just showed your true colors: “the government should give all its money away for free to the people” It’s not the government’s money, dude. It’s the people’s. The government is taking that oil money from people who don’t have enough to eat! chavez is like Nibor Hood, that is, stealing from the poor to spend it himself.

            And then you go and shoot yourself in the foot: “leaving it with even less to invest in development.” You just said, it diverts the money from hydro investments for other stuff, which brings me back to:

            Point to an area of greater than 5-fold improvement.

          • Ah Torres, as always, making no sense at all, and attempting to twist and distort. Let me just say this:

            Anyone who thinks that government investments should see an increase in social and economic indicators that is directly proportionate to the dollar amount invested is obviously beyond clueless. But we already knew that didn’t we…

          • Get a Clue, you seem to have a format. First you say I’m either making no sense or providing no facts or something of the sort, to then go from there right to countering in some superficial way what you claimed that I did not provide or did not make sense in explaining. lol

            Anway, we are both right, government investment is not directly proportional to increases in social and economic indicators. Oddly, however, you provide that jewel of knowledge as a counter my pointing out that what we are seeing is the opposite, the decrease in indicator increases with increases in government investment. Not only from past to present, but also in comparison to other nations. So, how exactly is that a counter. Give me a clue…

          • Get a Clue, Dumber? Perhaps it’s your own doing, because you first state, look at a map, then you won’t accept the differences between Brazil and Venezuela geography. You also state look at the math, but then you explicitly state that you’ll ignore it.

            Face it, with Venezuela’s latest income, chavez had it easy, yet there are more street protests daily than ever before. Inflation, debt, violence, all high, some even record-breaking. And any improvement you can point at, has, at best, been mildly better than improvement before chavez *without the income*. What a wasted opportunity.

            chavez should ask you to stop defending him because you’re only helping us spotlight his inefficiency.

          • “Face it, with Venezuela’s latest income, chavez had it easy, yet there are more street protests daily than ever before. Inflation, debt, violence, all high, some even record-breaking. And any improvement you can point at, has, at best, been mildly better than improvement before chavez *without the income*. What a wasted opportunity.”

            This is like a comedy show! I love it. More street protests than ever before, yet the people keep electing the same guys back into power! So strange. High inflation? Much lower than his predecessors. High debt? Lowest debt as a percentage of GDP in over 30 years.

            The only legitimate thing you’ve said so far is the high crime rates. Everything else you’ve said is directly contradicted by the facts. But, I know, that’s nothing new for you.

          • Hey GAC & Syd, get a room and take your bickering off this blog! Y me sorprende, Syd, que les cuerda a este pajuo que lo unico que quiere es tener publico.

          • The answer to what you mention here is in the comment below. In this thread, I’m glad you finally realized that chavez’s performance with hydroelectric installation and maintainance is dismal when looked at in terms of trends of improvement per income considering population and geography. Basically, the math clearly demonstrates that previous presidents or foreign current presidents would have done better with the same amount of money. FIVE TIMES the money. Dude, what a waste.

        • Yup, and despite the relative difficulty of developing hydroelectric power in Brazil, it has multiple major projects going forward. Venezuela, not so much.

          Perhaps Chavez will actually get around to dusting off the plans of that hated 4th Republic, and actually build the Tayucay, which ought to have been completed years ago at this point if it weren’t for Chavez’s foolishness.

          • You haven’t demonstrated that it is more difficult to develop hydroelectric production in Brazil. You’ve simply made that claim without anything to back it up. They have vastly more resources, and are a much more developed country than Venezuela.

          • Logic dictates that much of Brazil’s hydroelectric potential is much tougher to tap than Venezuela’s just by mere accessibility difficulties. Besides that, I suggest you look into some of Venezuela’s potential, not just for hydro, but for using the vast waterway systems for transportation throughout the nation. It is my understanding that Venezuela’s hydro potential is one of the easiest to develop in the world.

          • Sidestepping again? Wasn’t it you suggesting we look at a map?

            Brazil has it’s potential spread out over an area larger than USA, much of it undeveloped and of difficult accessibility. Venezuela’s area is comparable to just Texas, and even if it were as difficult to access as in Brazil, requires much less cost to do so.

            Those are facts, which proves you wrong about my incapability, which puts the ball in your court…

          • I said we should look at a map as a joke for how stupid the argument was. I then proceeded to back up my statement with statistics to prove it, something you have not done, and will not, because you can’t.

          • BTW, even if it were more expensive to expand hydroelectric production in Brazil (something you haven’t been able to demonstrate), Brazil’s total income is vastly greater than Venezuela’s


            Meaning that Brazil should be able to increase its capacity at a much faster rate than Venezuela. But if we look at the last 10 years, Venezuela has actually increased hydro production at a faster rate than Brazil.


            Do the math, and then admit you are full of shit.

          • Get a Clue, thanks for explaining your comment about looking at a map. Ironic, given my reason for reminding you of your comment.

            You mention Brazil’s vastly greater income, but you fail to mention it in terms of per capita, as you did request we look at other values, earlier. GDP per capita, for example, has increase by less than 30% for Brazil, but over 40% for Venezuela since 2003. So, Venezuela had to be able to show greater improvement than Brazil in at least something.

            As to the hydro production increase you are trying to sidestep my main argument, the rates of increase. From 1999 to 2009, Brazil and Venezuela increased, according to your graph, their hydro production by 33% and 49%, respectively, which you point to because it seems nice until you look at what was happening ten years prior. From 1989 to 1999 they increased 43% and 75%, respectively. What the math says, as you requested, is that while Brazil’s increased has diminished to 77% of what it was, Venezuela’s has diminished to 65% of what it was.

            Aside from that, Brazil has already installed 86% of it’s capacity, can we agree that new increase is more difficult that previous increases just because they would not have installed the most difficult sources first? Venezuela, in contrast, has only installed 69% of it’s capacity. Given the geography I pointed out, the installation of new capacity in Venezuela is simply much more accessible than Brazil’s, being at an earlier stage of its full development.

          • You don’t look at per capita income when you are discussing absolute production. Are you all really this stupid? This is like the special olympics of comment sections.

            Thanks for admitting that Venezuela under Chavez has increased hydro production at a faster rate than their much higher developed neighbor Brazil. The rest of what you said is irrelevant.

          • “Are you all really this stupid? This is like the special olympics of comment sections.”

            Bottom dweller

          • Get a Clue, you don’t think per capita income is relevant to discussing investment in per capita hydro electric production?!

            As to the part you wish to ignore, thanks for letting us know where you hide your head in the sand. Get it through your head: chavez has nothing to show for a 5-fold increase in income. Many things have gotten worse, and the ones that you can point to that have improved have either improved less than they were improving before him, or have improved less than they should with such an influx of money, let alone less than what other nations have improved.

            I don’t think chavez would be happy the way you’re defending him. For starters, he would ask you to stop asking people to do the math. The math shows he is the least efficient president in Venezuela’s history. Oh, btw, I like the way you sidestepped his stealing from the poor for his own spending. Are you sure you’re on his side?

          • “Many things have gotten worse, and the ones that you can point to that have improved have either improved less than they were improving before him, or have improved less than they should with such an influx of money, let alone less than what other nations have improved.”

            This is particularly funny. First, you haven’t shown that anything has gotten worse. Second, Brazil has also increased production at a slower rate. Third, you haven’t demonstrated that production should have increased faster. And fourth, it didn’t increase less than other nations as has already been demonstrated. And you talk about sticking your head in the sand. You’re hilariously stupid Torres.

          • I demonstrated it, with these two links:


            Perhaps you really are that thick, so I’ll lay it out for you. In Brazil, getting the same nameplate capacity in MW requires three dams with a much larger volume of concrete to get what one dam in Venezuela gets. Unless you are going to argue that the Brazilians are idiots, and bypassed obvious cheap potential sites for a dam, we can safely conclude that it is more expensive to get the same hydroelectric production in Brazil.

          • Sorry, but this doesn’t demonstrate it. What you are arguing here is that a dam built decades ago in Venezuela was more cost-effective than a dam currently under construction in Brazil. This does not mean that CURRENTLY in Venezuela it is more cost-effective to build NEW dams than in Brazil. One old dam isn’t representative of what it costs to build new projects in new places. I’m surprised I have to explain that to you.

            Secondly, I already showed up above that even if it were more costly for Brazil, they also have vastly more total income to deal with, and Brazil is a more developed country than Venezuela, meaning they should be able to increase production at a faster rate, something they have not done.

          • Get a Clue, deny, deny, deny. You even go further and state the opposite of what is true, then add insult. Your format is hilariously malevolent. Fortunately, it’s also obvious, so it helps the opposition and hurts chavez that you keep it up. Please, continue.

            As to not showing things have gotten worse, that’s because we hadn’t been discussing that. I’ll just mention high debt, inflation, violence, and number of protests per day. Can you guess which ones are at historically highs? Do you really want the discussion to go in that direction?

            As to Brazil’s also increased at slower rates, you sidestepped the reason I pointed that out, and it’s that Brazils slower rate is HIGHER than Venezuela’s with LESS GDP per capita! I also pointed out that Brazil’s stage of hydro development is closer to its maximum potential than Venezuela, so it is more and more difficult to achieve, while Venezuela’s is easier. I also pointed out that Venezuela’s geography also makes it even easier by mere accessibility.

            As to production that should have increased faster, what I pointed out was the rate at which it had been developing without the fivefold increase in income, so there was at least no reason for it to slow down the trend, especially when compared to a nation that has it tougher geographically and developmentally, with less increase in income, to boot.

            As to your fourth point, you are trying to ignore the crux of the matter. Venezuela had a rate of increase before chavez. That rate of increase has increased less with chavez than other nations have increased theirs in the same time period, yet chavez had much more increase in income than other nations.

            Please, GAC, keep it up. You’re helping us point the failure that is chavez. What’s worse, the thief that is chavez, taking the oil money from the poor for his spending. A historically high 5 times more than before him! Think about it, he had enough to have ZERO poverty today. He wasted it, and you like it!

          • You pointed out lots of stuff, but most of it was flat wrong, and the rest wasn’t backed up with any statistics. Anyone can sit here and point to random things without backing anything up. Here’s an example:

            “I’ll just mention high debt, inflation, violence, and number of protests per day. Can you guess which ones are at historically highs? Do you really want the discussion to go in that direction?”

            Debt is the lowest its been in terms of GDP in 30 years. Inflation is much lower than it was during the decade before Chavez came to power. Protests per day is an arbitrary statistic that doesn’t tell you much, especially since the people keep electing the same government back into power.

            So the only thing you got right was violence. Hey, after twenty-odd comments you finally got one thing right. Congrats!

          • Get a Clue,

            Regarding debt, I’m amazed that you would try to make it seem that the debt:GDP ratio is a happy one given that the percentage of GDP from oil in Venezuela is at its highest ever. This implies that it’s really a debt:oilprice ratio. You do realize the volatility behind that ratio? How about, instead, you tell me the percent increase in debt, versus the past and versus other nations? When you’re done, explain why you would want to increase your debt when the going is good, putting the nation at risk for when the going is not so good.

            Regarding inflation, again, why is it you are not comparing the trends of inflation:income ratio? And why aren’t you looking at other nations at current times, which in a world scenario is a better comparison? Care to tell us what ranking Venezuela has in inflation?

            Regarding number of protests per day, ask a politician if that’s not an important measure. As to why they keep electing the guy, well, there are many reasons, but one that comes to mind for you is the polling result that people blame those around chavez for their ills, but not him. Personally, I think is because they don’t think the alternatives are better, quite frankly because they don’t offer the oil money in cash.

            As to violence, hey, after twenty-odd comments you finally got one thing right; that was the record high one. Congrats!

          • Pathetic attempt to explain away the facts, as usual. And, by the way, the oil money in cash WAS offered. It was one of the central pillars of Rosales campaign in 2006, and it led to perhaps the worst electoral defeat in Venezuelan history. Oh but you have a million excuses for that too.

          • Get a clue, the cash was not offered in the way that I’m referring, but given that you bring up Rosales’s offer, I’ll point out that chavez replied with a credit card offer.

            Interesting how you sidestepped all the arguments perhaps thinking you can fool people into not seeing the obvious: after over a decade with record high amounts of money, chavez has little to show for it. So little, in fact, that a fan like you needs a magnifying glass to see the effects of FIVE TIMES the money after a record amount of time in power with a record control of government.

            If Venezuela is not today in tip-top shape in almost every aspect, it’s due to a failed government. You can’t have it both ways: either chavez has been terrible with so much money, or those previous to him were not doing badly at all with one FIFTH the money. Take your pick; anything else is just ill-intent propaganda.

    • I would suggest that you do the per/capita kilowatt or that you just see population growth over that same period.

      The failure is not the ability to increase generation. The failure is simply in not doing so at the required rate.

      • Well said, Get a Clue also fails to get a clue about the importance of pricing. By maintaining rock bottom prices for electricity, Chavez knew damn well demand was going to skyrocket. His failure to account for that is exactly that, his failure.

        Get a Clue is running the special education version of infrastructure development, where you get a pin and a prize for effort. In the rest of the world (China, USA, South Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, India) when you fail to look at obvious indicators and utterly fail to anticipate future infrastructure usage, HEADS ROLL. Doubly so when the person running the electrical grid is the same one distributing electricity consuming goods. China for example increased electricity production about 250% from 2000 to 2012! The US from 1965 to 1975, about 85%… venezuela, which Chavez claims to be turning into an industrial powerhouse, 25%… pathetic.

        • The last 10 years that we have data for (1999-2009) production increased by about 58%. But go ahead and make up numbers if you want.

          • And you’re right I’m running the special education version of infrastructure development… apparently you’re too dumb to notice when you’re insulting yourself!

          • BTW, demand doesn’t skyrocket just because you maintain low prices. It skyrockets because poverty was drastically reduced, and overall consumption went up significantly.

            Oh, I know, it just causes all kinds of headaches when those poor people start to live a little better and consume more.

          • For whatever reason it may be, there were early warning that the demands were not going to be met if they didn’t do something. These warning were issues through the 2002 – 2009 period several times.

            I don’t understand what are you defending. There is an electricity crisis that with planning could have been avoided and it costed the nation a lot of cash. That’s a fact, is not an argument.

          • To build upon your comment, poverty reduction will lead to increase power consumption but also does low kW/h cost. If you don’t pay for what its worth, you are happy to leave the AC on during the day or the lights or have inefficient appliances. Same with cheap gas. It is regressive.

            Both poverty reduction AND low prices increase demand.

          • So you think demand is unrelated to prices, this is why Chavez is the special education student. with you giving him a pass on basic economic concepts.

            And the increase was on a per Capita basis, Venezuela’s was 25%, less than half of the per Capita increase in China or the US when they were at the same stage of development. The fact that Venezuela’s population was expanding and this was one of the causes of increased demand makes Chavez failure even more apparent since population growth can easily be seen ten to twenty years out.

            As to the increased consumption, I am glad for that, it provided good jobs for many Chinese and even some American workers.The problem is that Chavez is so dumb he caused it yet failed to account for it in production, that is pathetic.

          • increased number of blackouts = reduction in levels of poverty.

            Squeeze Cinderella’s glass slipper onto any oversized foot, bunions and all! For a how-to, sign up now for Getaclue’s special ed classes in revolutionary economics. Only 4 spaces left!

          • Good job syd!!! You almost got it right. I’ll explain it one more time and I’m sure you’ll get it right next time. I’ll try to make it as clear as possible for my special ed class here:

            Lower levels of poverty (less poor people) = higher consumption (poor people can buy more stuff) = higher consumption of electricity per capita (more A/C’s and refrigerators) = need to drastically increase electricity supply

          • I take it, GAC, that in your *infrastructure development* by blackboard, there are no econometrics, no such thing as planning ahead — so easy to incorporate in efficient economies, let alone in an oil-exporting nation.

            In clapping your hands like a trained seal at the simplistic version, allow me to provide you with the bigger picture, not sure if you can handle it. It goes like this:

            no central planning + corruption and misappropriation of funds + insufficient hydroelectric generators + insufficient building of same + increased imports and distribution of “electrodomésticos” as a political tool, to give the appearance of a reduction in levels of poverty = blackouts.


          • There’s just one problem with your version Syd. There’s no fact to back it up. My version, on the other hand, is clearly born out in the statistics.

          • GAC: I hope that when you teach your *revolutionary economics*, which omit a focus on the big picture, and a credible explanation beyond “it was the iguana’s fault” for the blackouts in Vz, you’ll consider what we’ve all tried to contribute, here.

            But I suspect you want the easy way out, principally because you don’t have sufficient training or criteria to dig deeper for reasons why, in 14 years, one of the largest oil exporters in the world, cannot get its act together, insofar as hydroelectric power capacity and distribution is concerned.

            Your failure to ask that question — as difficult as it is for you, given your partisan loyalties, and your failure to connect the dots, beyond your cherry-picked graphs and statistics — does your students a great disservice.

            I suspect that you’re not at some first or second-tier educational institutional.

          • “why, in 14 years, one of the largest oil exporters in the world, cannot get its act together, insofar as hydroelectric power capacity and distribution is concerned.”

            The whole point is that production has increased faster than in their richer, and more developed neighbor to the south. But given that I’m teaching special education here, I’m not surprised that I’ve had to repeat that about 15 times now.

          • I agree with your second comment Rodrigo. But must point out that the regressive policies you point to are nothing new in Venezuela, and started long before Chavez. The positive side (higher consumption levels), however, is new under Chavez.

            As for NorskeDiv, you clearly need more special education classes if you think Venezuela today is at a similar level of development as the US was in 1965. That is beyond stupid.

          • Getaclue sidesteps Rodrigo’s first comment because:
            (a) it’s an inconvenient truth that highlights the poor planning and ignorance of the Chavernment. (Getaclue is still scrambling to find an excuse.)
            (b) GAC’s too busy trying bait those outside his special ed class on the meaning of ‘hydro’.

          • GAC,
            That regressive policies were used in the past is no excuse for their continued use.

            As for consumption levels I am not sure. Again you must see things per capita. We haven’t hit yet the historical low on poverty .

            Historical low GINI was at 1992. The historical poverty low was 1978.

            There is a high correlation between oil revenues and poverty. One should be careful to claim in Venezuela to claim that social programs are being effective in a period of high oil income.

          • Rodrigo,

            In fact regressive policies in the past is indeed an excuse for their continuation if the population now feels entitled to them and rejects attempts to modify them.

            As for consumption per capita:

          • I meant electric consumption (since that was the topic). I guess we were talking of two different things.

            We disagree on the continuation argument. Education should be provided and that entitlement should be dissipated. Like Iran did with the gas subsidy.

  2. I guess for our fellow citizens, for 8 millions of people, we have to really, really, really hit the bottom of the pit shit to realize that socialism is not working.

    • You’re right.

      That’s why, as someone who does not live in Venezuela, I can afford the luxury of being relieved Chavez won re-election. It’s important the consequences of his disastrous policies are sowed under his watch! Imagine if Capriles had won: He would have faced an empty foreign reserve, immediate de-valuation, a massive shift of investment from social programs to basic infrastructure and public sector layoffs just to get the country back onto a sustainable footing. The electorate would easily have been lead to believe these were avoidable decisions which were done to punish El Pueblo.

      Unfortunately, Chavez lives in denial, so reforms will not come as a part of a coherent package like the IMF would impose, rather they will be haphazard and inefficient. Nevertheless they will come and be noticed, and visible broken promise, like an empty Merkal or waiting six years for your government Casa, is far worse than a promise never made.

  3. I’m not an engineer so if someone could help me out with a small technical concern it would be appreciated: on its way to destroying Venezuelan electrical production and the grid, is it not possible for the government to at least advise people ahead of time when they will be experiencing a blackout? (i.e. say to the folks in Barinas: Tuesday afternoon- no power; Wednesday, intermittent power; etc., maybe on a weekly basis to account for the deteriorating circumstances).

    For those who are working on a schedule on any given day (as opposed, for example, to working random hours at a Barrio Adentro module or a Corpoelec office), that would be helpful.

    • It would be very easy in a market like Venezuela where production just doesn’t meet demand.

      If you have 85 units of production, and 100 units of demand, you need to shed 15 units of demand (black out 15% of users). It would be very simple to tell the residents of Barinas “You will get no power from 10am-12:20pm every day for the next week,” but Chavez wouldn’t allow that, because it would be an admission their problem was one of long term planning, not short term circumstances or accidents.

      For random system failure events, like the great northeast blackout, it is obviously not possible to warn people. I’m sure some blackouts in Venezuela are also due to occasional failures in the electric grid.

      In fact even in Venezuela, most blackouts are planned, there must be some central grid operator, after all they have to maintain voltage and frequency. They just don’t tell anyone what the hell they are up to.

      • that’s what I figured. They would rather f-up hundreds of thousands of peoples’ days and pretend there is no problem than do something to help ameliorate the effects of the obvious.

    • Simply by the number of wires coming off those transformers, you can tell these types of consumers are not the main problem. Most of the theft probably happens in a more organized fashion, between larger consumers and meter workers who fudge the numbers on meter readings for a bit of pocket money. The solution is replacing all manually read meters with automated meters, and not upgrading transformers or lines unless the legitimate demand justifies it. There’s only so much power you can steal from a puny residential transformer.

      Even at my house here in USA, the meter is automatic and requires no utility worker to go and check it. There’s simply no one for me to bribe. If I were to jack in illegally before the meter, they’d notice the load doesn’t match what’s being reported in real time by the meters,,

  4. For all you learned Bloggers (and there are many here): Relative possibilities/efficiencies within Venezuela, or compared to other countries (e. g., Brasil), really are meaningless, when considering that virtually all Venezuelan public works cost at least twice their real cost due to corruption, take at least 2x as long to complete as they would in an efficient economic system for the same reason, and many aren’t even worked on at all once inaugurated, since the real reason for their announcement was political, or simply to steal the allotted monies. Even if some do eventually become inaugurated, they usually don’t work well for long, due to “revolutionary” stupidity/inefficiency/lack of expertise of the usual political-appointee managers. What else can one expect from a country where the maximum leader “Comandante” recently said publicly that all business positions should be “rotated”, using as an example that a business manager should also clean the toilets, while the person cleaning the toilets becomes the business manager. An example from a recent Consejo de Ministros: Chavez berating his Ministers, because his beloved Coppelia” (copy of Fidel’s Cuban one) ice cream factory was not operating, 2 weeks only after its “inauguration”, due to : “a damaged machine, lack of raw materials, lack of plastic packaging, and lack of workers, since they did not have transportation and weren’t about to walk 45 minutes each way back and forth to work”….

    • Then explain why total production has increased faster in Venezuela than in Brazil in the last 10 years. You can’t, because you’re an idiot.

      • Keep believing the Chavez lying statistics (I know, they’re true, because Eljuri told the U. N. they were…) P. S., “learned bloggers” was not referring to you, for obvious reasons.

        • The statistics actually come from the World Bank. But, yeah, I know, its all a big conspiracy, so big that the World Bank is also involved.

          • The World Bank comes to Venezuela and sends out people to verify??? I haven’t seen any lately (maybe because they were ambushed/killed as some poor Corpoelec field employees were recently?). The international organizations trust the respective countries involved to give them real data–BIG mistake in the case of Venezuela (a former college roommate of mine was Chief Economist of the World Bank). But, GAC, someone/some organization must be paying you big bucks to try and debate on this Blog–the rest of us just do it to set the record straight.

          • I do it to watch guys like you come up with grand conspiracy theories about how we can’t trust World Bank statistics. Its hilariously funny.

          • We can trust many/most World Bank statistics, from serious countries, but we cannot trust many/if any statistics from the lying Rogue Chavez Government of Venezuela (100 % literacy–remember??), of which you are either a part, or a paid lying agent.

      • Smoke and mirrors. You told us to look at the math, and the math proves that the Brazil government would have achieved a much higher production in Venezuela than chavez has. Venezuela’s income was so, so great, that production should have been much, much better.

        • Oh, so now the argument is that the Brazilian government, if we were to put it in Venezuela, it “would have achieved a much higher production.” That’s funny. I wonder why they wouldn’t just achieve a higher production in their own country where they have vastly greater resources at their disposal.

          I’m loving these ridiculously convoluted arguments Torres. Its like talking to a 4-year-old.

          • Get a clue, it’s funny that you ask us to look at the math, but you refuse to look at it once we bring it up past a elementary level. As I pointed out, Brazil is decreasing its positive trend much less than what Venezuela is, despite being at a more difficult stage of development and having to do so in a much more difficult geography and with a much smaller increase in income per capita. I know, you’re having a 4-yrold level conversation while I’m talking slopes of slopes of curves.

            I’ll boil it down for you: chavez has had FIVE TIMES the money and in over a decade with total control of all aspects of government, and all we can say about his accomplishements is “Meh”.


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