Dim Wattage


See if you can detect the tension between these two recent news items:

April 17th: In an interview with Barquisimeto newspaper El Impulso, Electrical Engineer Luis Vásquez Corro said that if there’s no rain in coming days (due to the El Niño phenomenon) Guri hydro-electric plant would be forced to shut down its turbines.

Two days later, Vásquez Corro, who heads the Electric Industry Commission at the Lara State Chapter of the Venezuelan Engineers’ Guild (Colegio de Ingenieros de Venezuelawas detained by SEBIN agents and held for two days. He was then released (pictured), but not before he was formally charged by a local court of “spreading false news” (under Article 296 of the Penal Code).

Interior Minister Gustavo Gonzalez Lopez called his crime an “an electrical alarm” and part of “a destabilization plan”. Electricity Minister Jesse Chacon harshly dismissed Vasquez Corro’s comments and said Guri won’t be stopped at all.

April 28th: Vice-President Jorge Arreaza and Electricity Minister Jesse Chacon hold a joint press conference.

The headline announcements from the meeting are a drastic reduction in the public administration’s working hours (only from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.) as well as the implementation of Resolution 35 (published in 2013) to limit electric consumption by private businesses.

Who’s to blame for this?

The heat wave now gripping the country and our increasing demand.


After two years on the job, Mr. Chacon has not solved the crisis (or kept his promises). Don’t expect much from him.