The electrical war


A CORPOELEC office closed for lack of electric power [cue Twilight Zone theme]
A CORPOELEC office closed down for lack of electric power. Yep, things like this do happen.
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 the country in the dark”.

The late comandante presidente ordered a similar measure in March 2010. It didn’t do much back then. Electrons are curiously nonplussed by goons with guns.

Blackouts around the country have increased in the first months of 2013, in part because of the increasing demand amid frozen nominal prices, leading to constant breakdowns in the national grid. While the head of CORPOELEC, Argenis Chávez, says new projects are underway to reduce the power deficit across the regions, electric consultant Jose Aguilar believes that we’ve yet to hit rock bottom.

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      • Thanks Gustavo. Interestingly,the Corporelec link refutes that they were going to -sell- the company to the Chinese, But the Suarez Nuñez article only says they offered a part of the :”administration” to the Chinese, if I read it correctly. The latter is more believable and could have been finessed as preserving soberania in the sense of ownership. Anyway, the story is hard to verify, though, if anyone is trustworthy as a reporter, I suppose it is JSN who has been at it so many years in the oil sector.
        Thanks again.

        • Why would a Chinese company be interested in managing a dysfunctional utility when they can make significant profit just selling overpriced generators.

          • Exactly. However, the Canadians once ran a fairly reliable, and i assume profitable, electric utility in Caracas.

          • I don’t recall any Canadian companies owning any utilities in Caracas. if you are referring to the time Electricidad de Caracas was owned by AES. AES is an American company based in Arlington, Virginia

          • A company called Canadian International Power owned and operated the electrical companies of Maracaibo and Barquisimeto until they were bought, nacionalizadas, by CAP in 1974. That government paid those investors in full, back then. CIP does not exist anymore.

  1. I was in a Corpoelec substation once that the employees had turned into an auto mechanic shop. I would have taken a photo but the one employee stll working at his post was security. It frankly is not clear what a ‘gringo’ like me would sabotage if i were so inclined. The place was stripped. Even the government issued laptops disappear before an outsider could steal them or take the data…

  2. Was it oppo saboteurs who took the website offline? No, it was the Bolibanana government who didn’t want electrical production information available anymore, as it was embarrassing to Chavismo’s record as stewards of the nation.

    Having the milicos guarding against oppo saboteurs reminds me of the joke about the guy in [say] Columbus Ohio waving a butterfly net around.
    Q. Why are you waving the butterfly net around?
    A. I’m keeping tigers away,
    Q. But there aren’t any tigers around here.
    A. Shows what a good job I’m doing. Dead as a doornail.

      • Unfortunatelly, things will continue to get progressively worse. And with no change in government possible in the forseeable future, more repression, political propaganda and fear is all Venezuelans will get. Forget electric power, water service, new roads, hospitals, schools, all that matters is the continuation of the “Revolucion”

    • Not sure the Cubanization can be stopped Miguel. Its pervasive. The people, ie the middle class, are accepting lower standards for everything, and less freedom. They appear to have no choice. Sad.

      • Agree, the are like the frog in a cauldron of water were the heat is being turned up, slowly, oblivious to the fact that it is being boiled alive

    • Long before this became a news item in the US i heard someone who at the time worked for Corpoelec mention exactly the same thing , Cubans were imposing a strategy for dealing with electric problems (copied from their own cuban experience) which inhouse experts knew would only make things worse . Chavez gave a Castro recommended cuban bigwig all the authority to handle the electricity problems as he saw fit , and the guy was a total ignoramus.

  3. Gustavo, there is no rock bottom for Venezuela. I’ve been hearing about “Chavez will be brought down by his own agry people when we hit rock bottom” since 1999. The truth is, nothing is going to change until the higher ups of chavismo divide (if they ever do).

    • Or the price of oil drops by 25% or more.
      Although, we all know that is unlikely as the world demand keeps on ramping up. So, you’re probably right.

      • What’s important for the regime is its oil revenue, this is certainly helped by high prices but its also affected by falls in production , climbing costs of maintaining that production , or selling oil at reduced or give away prices to foreign allies or subsidising prices of a rising domestic demand , or replacing products once produced by pdvsa refineries with imported products etc. Oil Revenues are not only a function of high prices but of other factors which combined can hurt those revenues . Pdvsa mismanagement and the regimes crazy economically irrational policies and decisions (however ideologically justified) are taking such toll on these other factors that they are pushing the amount of revenue available to meet the regimes needs sharply down !! Time will tell but there are many different factors bringing the regime closer to an all out economic crisis.


    Nicolas Maduro dice,” Le quitaron la luz a todos los sectores populares de Aragua, en la noche-tarde (del miércoles) (…) No tiene justificación técnica. Así que se ha destituido al jefe de Corpoelec de Aragua (Antonio Lucas) y lo estamos investigando y van a ir preso todos los funcionarios que están en complotados contra el pueblo.”

    Do people in Venezuela really believe this stuff?


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