El sabotaje va por dentro

This fire left half of the country without electricity
Last week, this fire left half of the country without electricity

The rolling power blackouts that have spread around the country have gotten worse in recent days, to the point that even weekends are no longer safe.

In my neighborhood in Barquisimeto, blackouts had been hitting us twice a week on weekdays (Tuesdays and Thrusdays from 7 to 9 p.m.). Now, they’re every other day, and not always at the same time.

Last time, it was 9 to 11 p.m. I even missed part of the Google Hangout!

Once again, CORPOELEC is not even telling when the blackouts will take place, which means fried appliances and very, very angry people.

Since our last update, the electricity crisis has gotten worse due to wildfires affecting the transmission lines coming out of Guri Dam, which have led to grid failures in many parts of Venezuela. A member of the electric workers’ union has denounced the lack of maintenance in those corridors near Guri.

At the same time, the huge Planta Centro thermo-electrical plant (located near Puerto Cabello) had another setback with one of its units. There’s your Cuban “expertise” at work…

Yet, the “S” word has shown up once again as the official excuse, introduced this time by no other than Nicolas Maduro himself.

Lost in the barrage of accusations launched days ago, he blamed the recent wave of electric failures on “sectors of la Derecha (how he calls the opposition), which are trying to create a situation of chaos…” As you’d expect, he failed to provide any evidence to support his claims.

The Electricity Ministry, created in October 2009 to deal with the ongoing crisis, has been unable to deal with the issue. And yet, in its annual report to the National Assembly, the MPPEE admitted it has spent Bs.58,8 billion in the last two years.

We don’t have much to show for all that cash. Not only are the lights still going off haphazardly, but CORPOELEC still has $8 billion in debt.