Photo: Mario Pérez

It was shut down for good.

It happened after it endured two (unscheduled) daily blackouts for weeks and its machine heart couldn’t take it. This is about a Regina fridge, which has been in my house for nearly ten years. My mom, aware of the monster of hyperinflation, didn’t hesitate: “We must fix it anyway we can. We must do it soon.”

While we got in touch with a trusted technician, we set up a strategy to survive until the fridge got repaired: We looked for cooling boxes (like those we used when drinking a few beers didn’t represent five months worth of salary), and with enough ice we kept the perishable foods safe. Repairing the fridge would cost 42 minimum wages (a million bolivars back then). If we didn’t pay upfront, the price would increase.

While we got in touch with a trusted technician, we set up a strategy to survive until the fridge got repaired.

“You have to run and disconnect all electricals every time there’s an outage so this doesn’t happen again,” the technician told us, explaining that the main problem is that we don’t have a power protector. The one we had, broke down months ago and we never bought another one because the blackout tragedy was apparently over… until now. The threat of losing the little we have because of the damn blackouts is always there.

One day after this, I attended a press conference held by Lisandro Cabello, Zulia State’s government secretary, who claimed he’d demanded Electric Energy Vice-minister Carlos Borges to create a Load Administration Plan so people can prevent their appliances from breaking down. That’s from the guy who, when this debacle started, claimed it was impossible to establish a schedule for power cuts.

Go to hell, Lisandro.

On July 2, his demand was heard: The state’s electric company announced a Load Administration Plan, which will be established in 4-hour blocks during mornings and nights, from Monday to Sunday. Nonetheless, it’s failed in these first days and various users have reported that power cuts remain as chaotic before.

Lisandro is covering the governor’s role for the absentee Omar Prieto, who’s on medical leave. The most radical among us think Prieto’s simply hiding until power cuts are resolved, but the fact is that Cabello has carried the burden to the point that, according to him, he constantly gets death threats on social media.

Zulia State’s government secretary, who claimed he’d demanded Electric Energy Vice-minister Carlos Borges to create a Load Administration Plan.

His work hasn’t been that complicated, because it’s root on denying the crisis, parroting that Prieto is “committed” to resolving the situation and giving absurd excuses (such as “Zulia’s very close to the Sun“ and “if the weather improves, this will immediately improve”).

But his favorite accusations mostly deal with alleged sabotage against Corpoelec, carried out by “the evil ones,” as he calls some opposition activists that he claims spend their days attacking power stations guarded by the militia.

About this last part, and in view of the constant questions about why the authorities in charge can’t prevent this “sabotage”, he said that the fire of Caujarito plant was carried out by an “armed group” engaged in a shootout with the guards. However, nobody was wounded or arrested, and the neighbors didn’t hear any gunfire. They only saw the flames.

He also said that protests were forbidden throughout the state, condemning the calls for protest made by Frente Amplio Zulia, led by Juan Pablo Guanipa, who called on people to take the streets every Friday until blackouts are resolved.

It’s not the first time Cabello attacks Guanipa, and it’s not just Cabello who seems to be fixated with him, but the entire current administration of Zulia’s Governor’s Office.

In May, Cabello denounced Guanipa to the Prosecutor’s Office because “he’s been inciting and provoking hate for a couple of years (…), causing the death of human beings who were persecuted, stoned, beaten and some of them set on fire after they were called chavistas.”

But Prieto reappeared on Monday, July 9, in a press conference. A bit thinner but in good condition and, of course, he didn’t waste time to boast his cynicism: nurses aren’t protesting in Zulia (even though it’s been reported almost daily in the press), there’s no malaria in Machiques de Perijá (although independent sources estimate 650 new cases per week) and… the heat wave is responsible for the blackouts.

Electric Energy Minister Luis Motta Domínguez visited the state to announce that citizens must prepare “for what’s coming.”

Even more humiliating, on Wednesday, July 11, Electric Energy Minister Luis Motta Domínguez visited the state to announce that citizens must prepare “for what’s coming,” and that power cuts would go from four to eight hours daily, or “as many as necessary.”

“Necessary?” Necessary for what? For Zulians to finally kill themselves?

The announcement caused an immediate reaction: What used to be a series of isolated protests in several areas finally consolidated this July 12, collapsing the entire city because, among other things, the blackouts affected gas stations; bus drivers can’t refuel their vehicles, so there’s no public transport at all.

“I’m not going downtown, even if they give me a fortune,” a man told after standing in line at the bus stop for over two hours. “There are barricades everywhere. People got mad.” Even Miguel Ángel Pérez Pirela, host of the show Cayendo y Corriendo, criticized the constant and lengthy power cuts Corpoelec has been carrying out in Zulia in recent days: “Be careful with the Zulian people, they’re tired, very tired.”

And no wonder: The crisis has gotten so bad that social media users reported last April that in Maracaibo’s Central Hospital, which had no electricity for more than two days, surgeries had to be made with cell phone flashlights.

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25 COMMENTS

  1. “Be careful with the Zulian people, they’re tired, very tired.”

    Well I seriously doubt that it will lead to anything, if I know my Venezuelans well …fuck all will happen. Business as usual, back to haciendo colas and swallowing whatever shit Chavismo throws at El Cobarde Pueblo. Viva CubaZuela no Jodas

    • Dude… I’m quite sure you’re not from Venezuela. We fought, they murdered us, they tortured us, they imprisoned us… we lost. It’s not like if you fight you always wins, that’s a really naive thing to think.

      • “We fought, they murdered us, they tortured us, they imprisoned us… we lost.”

        No, you didn’t fight. Oscar Perez fought. You had a temper tantrum. Which is why someone will build a monument to him someday and your “fight” will go unremembered.

    • Engon,

      I am not from Venezuela. I do not mean any disrespect, ’cause it’s much easier to say this behind a computer keyboard a couple thousand miles away, but what will it take for a more monumental uprising to take place? I mean one with massive widespread looting/burning/rioting across the entire country. No water or electricity or food or medical care or transportation or shoes or future for your children? No uncensored internet? No “What’s App?” or Twitter or Facebook? What will it take? I’m just wondering. A random triggering event that is hard to predict that becomes the match in the tinderbox?

      The people of Romania to finally decided to confront Ceaușescu in the middle of one of his speeches. Guess they could not take more of his bullshit. When Maduro gets up for his 1125th speech about how this time for sure he will defeat the economic war with the Patriot Card and that everything bad is caused by gringos, will the hungry and thirsty and miserable crowd finally have enough if his bullshit and turn on him? What will it take for Maduro (and Celia) to get lined up against that wall?

      Ortega announces cut backs in social security benefits and increase in tax (due in great part to losing his Venny oil subsidy) and that was the last straw for the people of Nicaragua. Way worse things being done by Maduro government. I don’t know the outcome in Nicaragua, but they are also being murdered, tortured, imprisoned, and yet they keep protesting without declaring defeat. What country is going to accept him and his VP Mrs? Or will they get lined up against the wall?

      Maybe it will never happen in Venezuela. Maybe it will just keep transitioning into a way more dangerous version of Cuba.

      • If you believe Kepler, the 1989 riots were not spontaneous but rather deliberately orchestrated by the left to sow chaos and eventually take power. I have not seen much evidence of this theory despite Kepler’s insistence that it has been PROVEN by an infinite number of sources etc etc. But it certainly is plausible.

        • “he 1989 riots were not spontaneous but rather deliberately orchestrated by the left to sow chaos and eventually take power. I have not seen much evidence of this …”

          It’s the same thing with those who insist that “Oscar Pérez was an actor paid by diosdado, who’s still alive and laughing his ass off, and the only way to prove me wrong is to show me a video of his corpse where you stick your fingers in the so-called bullet wound in his forehead”

          Because everybody in 1989 had smartphones to record every single detail of stuff going on, right? Hah.

          Also, read:

          https://informe21.com/blog/carlos-penaloza/verdad-caracazo

          “En su visita a Venezuela para la toma de posesión de Carlos Andrés Pérez en 1989, Fidel Castro llegó con 300 hombres y un enorme volumen de armamento. Gente del entorno de Pérez le ayudó a actuar libremente, lo cual Fidel aprovechó para preparar la toma del poder a partir de la insurrección popular que se esperaba y que efectivamente estalló el 27 de febrero”

          What a coincidence that just right after that fucking parasite that’s castro arrived on Venezuela the “spontaneous riots” broke, with heavily armed shooters among the looters (Some detail that was GROSSLY IGNORED by the articles about the riots in this site), who were the ones responsible for the most amount of deaths during the incident (And after it, as the armed murderers kept killing people during months after the riots)

        • I personally heard, about a week before The Caracazo, from union leaders, that something was brewing. There were few details, but we were advised to secure ourselves and our factory in Guarenas. The common detail in the warning was that it was to be induced, but no word about who or exactly when.

          When the shit hit the fan, we were not surprised….

      • Pilkunnussija,

        I can’t say one way or the other if was orchestrated or spontaneous, but the look on Ceaușescu’s face was priceless. There are plenty of lefties in Venny that are not happy with Maduro’s implementation of Chavismo. They want real communism which will fill their shelves with the 50 basket items at fair prices, or something like that. One of the charges that Ceaușescu and his misses were shot over was “genocide by starvation”

      • I like this story better (from Wikipedia, so you know its true and double fact-checked).

        “Some alleged Iliescu had connections to the KGB, the allegations continued during 2003–2008, when Russian dissident Vladimir Bukovsky, who had been granted access to Soviet archives, declared that Iliescu and some of the NSF members were KGB agents, that Iliescu had been in close connection with Mikhail Gorbachev ever since they had allegedly met during Iliescu’s stay in Moscow, and that the Romanian Revolution of 1989 was a plot organized by the KGB to regain control of the country’s policies (gradually lost under Ceaușescu’s rule). The only hard evidence published was a discussion between Gorbachev and Bulgaria’s Aleksandar Lilov from 23 May 1990 (after Iliescu’s victory in the May 20 elections) in which Gorbachev says that Iliescu holds a “calculated position”, and that despite sharing common views with Iliescu, Gorbachev wanted to avoid sharing this impression with the public.

      • “…what will it take for a more monumental uprising to take place? I mean one with massive widespread looting/burning/rioting across the entire country.”

        El pueblo always seems to respond favorably to a vastly more brutal and subtle front man. No, actually, communism always seems to go out with a whimper. Even Wikipedia says “In an ochlocracy, according to Polybius, the people of the state will become corrupted, and will develop a sense of entitlement and will be conditioned to accept the pandering of demagogues.”

      • “The people of Romania to finally decided to confront Ceaușescu in the middle of one of his speeches. Guess they could not take more of his bullshit. ”

        You left out a crucial detail in Rumania: That the people who opposed Ceausescu looked to arm themselves against the commie murder squads, so they weren’t exactly helpless against a dictator that would order slaughters on a whim.

  2. Brualio, I feel your pain (hat tip: Bill C). But, like the song goes:

    We had power once or twice, living in Chavista Paradise
    We have a bucket but no ice, living in Chavista Paradise
    The government, it don’t play nice, living in Chavista Paradise
    Your gonna have to sacrifice, living in Chavista Paradise

  3. “Communism is Soviet power plus electrification…” — Lenin
    “Chavismo is enchufado power plus electrical outages…” — Maduro

  4. Maybe it’s time to meet the threats, after all, omar pleito is known for being in the same level of assholery than maduro, alsaime, delcy, diosdado, lacrapa and the most imbecile chaviztas.

  5. Cuchufletas for Zulia is the new Regime plan for Conquering the Lack of Electricity Due to the Economic War.

    • Get the Professor over there to extend their radio battery life using a pair of coconut husks and Gilligan pedaling power.

  6. Sure they`ll protest, wont achieve shit though.

    Time for protest is long past. If they don`t do something really useful like bombing the mayor`s office or chop a few chavistas with machetes via mob then forget it, no one gives a shit, wont change shit.

    Peaceful protest only works in monumental numbers facing straight into the center of power, not with thousands of scattered small protests here and there, that only serves to annoy traffic. They will only waste wathever little strenght from the few proteins they have left shouting at air.

    “but is easier said that done hurrrr why dont you go shoot chavistas”

    It was way easier not to vote for psuv two dozen times and clap at expropiations “asi asi asi es que se gobierna” , wasnt the slogan “con hambre y desempleo con chavez me resteo”

    Ahora reesteense pues!

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