A Blackout With Glimmers

Most of the country is still in the dark amidst reports of looting and repression by security forces and colectivos, although service has been restored in some areas for now. Caretaker President Juan Guaidó offered a balance of the problem and said he's talked with other nations to ask for help. Parliament is set declare a State of National Alarm this Monday.

Photo: @Miguel_Pizarro retrieved

Darkness is encroaching and tormenting. Darkness confirms the vulnerability that we only overcame with modernity. This is the third day without power, water, mobile service, internet or information. Darkness changes even the perception of daylight, feeling strangely adrift, forcing us to manage our resources sparingly for who knows how long. There are no horoscopes for barbarity, no oracles against chavismo. In darkness, we lose due to disconnection, dysfunctionality, decline and despair, while the regime shows spite for everything that isn’t its own permanence, that’s why solving this tragedy is nothing to them; none of their statements offers solutions, only explanations to what’s already happening, that we’re already paying for. All academic and business activities were suspended for this Monday, March 11th. Nobody bothered to report when power will be restored.

Chavismo in its caverns

Without electricity, Nicolás and his loyalists have been even more incompetent (yes, more),  indifferent to so many simultaneous tragedies, clinging to their narrative of a “long-distance hack“ against the Guri dam for which they never prepared, even though it was “announced”. Darkness defines them, paralysis favors them, suspense feeds them, even if citizens pay the price in human and material losses. Any hint of official information has passed through the ideological filter that justifies their inaction: chavistas are “resisting” an imperial attack, therefore, citizens can’t demand solutions but stick faithfully to their tale and hope for something to happen. Regime outlets offer political excuses, but no technical or verifiable information. They’re not accountable, they don’t respond for their non-existence service capacity. That’s why Diosdado Cabello said that power had already been restored in 70% of the country; that’s why Nicolás asked people to crack a smile in bad times, and expanded the tale, saying that there was “a cybernetic and electromagnetic attack.” The regime’s Electricity Minister Luis Motta Domínguez vanished from the public scene. Health Minister Carlos Alvarado lies about the proportion of hospitals with access to auxiliary power plants. Lastly, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López claims that “there’s nothing important to report to the country” after three days of blackout.

Reports about darkness

According to caretaker President Juan Guaidó, there’s an estimated $400-million loss for the country’s much diminished private sector. This Monday, the National Assembly will hold an extraordinary session to decree a State of National Alarm as established in article 338 of the Constitution. For Guaidó, the situation that has arisen these past three days is even worse than the Vargas tragedy in 1999. He spoke about his conversations with Germany, Japan, Brazil and Colombia to seek support, including a proposal of $1,5 billion to manage services. Guaidó criticized the military high command, saying that no solution is viable with Nicolás. The country has enough megawatts to revert this blackout, but due to chavismo’s corruption and negligence, most of the equipment that should be working right now is out of order. “Restarting the operation requires near-perfect synchronization with technology and qualified personnel,” Guaidó explained, adding that the regime has harassed CORPOELEC employees. Out of the 19,000 megawatts currently installed in the country, only 2,500 are available.

Briefs and serious

  • Some organizations such as Codevida and Médicos por la Salud attempt, through instruments such as the Hospital Survey, to keep record of the death toll during this long national blackout, but all calculations require technology for verification and homologation.
  • NetBlocks has reported a 80-96% telecommunications failure, which explains our huge difficulty to communicate and share information.

  • There have been protests in several cities in the country (during the day and also at night), some including clashes with security bodies. Likewise, there have been reports of isolated lootings, but we have to wait for specialized NGOs (such as the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict) to issue a report on what they can verify.
  • Nicolás announced the mass distribution of CLAP boxes for this Monday.
  • We don’t know if the mission of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights that was due to arrive in the country managed to do so, as the Maiquetia Airport is partially halted.
  • Citizens abroad may recharge phones within Venezuela through platforms www.doctorsim.com and www.recharge.com.
  • The Lima Group expressed its solidarity with Venezuelans and hold “Maduro’s illegitimate regime exclusively liable for the collapse of the electric system.”
  • International airlines with flights scheduled for this Monday have announced that they’ll only allow the boarding of passengers with carry-on. The Maiquetia Airport doesn’t have power to x-ray other bags, so they’ll only operate with carry-on luggage that can be checked manually.
  • Freddy Bernal said that starting this Monday, they’ll allow students to cross over to Cucuta (Colombia) and return to Venezuela, emphasizing that borders remain closed.

Yesterday, March 10th, was Doctor’s Day, and Venezuelan doctors have made titanic efforts. We’ve painfully verified that we can’t have electricity, water, peace or normality with chavismo. The demands of Venezuelans are legitimate: we want a change of government that has been blocked by a group with no legitimacy of origin and much less performance, without accomplishments, without progress; it’s an insult that they cling to the power they’ve wasted along with our resources. They’re incompetent and ravenous, which makes them inviable. The darkness of these days will brand us for years to come. Informing is a great act of resistance. Do your part. Cooperate in every way you can.

Naky Soto

Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.