Archive for March 23rd, 2010

Chavez Government jails opposition leader, just because…

March 23, 2010

(That guy is CIA, Judge: Bravo!, That guy is ETA, Judge: Jailed!)

Oswaldo Alvarez Paz, the one time Governor of Zulia State and 1993 Presidential candidate for COPEI, was jailed today because…

I am not so sure.

You see, Alvarez Paz is supposed to be in jail for saying things like:

“Venezuela  has turned into an operations center that facilitates the business of  drug-trafficking”

live on much hated Globovision.

But, Alvarez Paz did not make this up, in fact, I wrote not long ago about a report by none other than the United Nations in which the UN said that Venezuela had become the “the largest transit country for cocaine in the world”.

He also said that “the Chavez  government has links to illegal, armed groups in Latin America”

once again, this is not new, the Spanish Audiencia Nacional accused the Venezuelan Government of precisely that recently, when Judge Velazco accused the Venezuelan Government of supporting ETA and FARC and setting up some explosives training exercizes using Venezuelan military and an ETA operative to train the FARC to blow up some Colombian Presidents or something like that.

So, Alvarez Paz did not invent the wheel in what he said, much like General Uson, who was jailed for five years for suggesting some Army soldiers were burned by a flame thrower. So, what’s up?

Because Minister of (In)Justice El Aissami said that Alvarez was imprisoned “because he lied” is as stupid as it gets. If we jailed Venezuelans who lie, the whole Cabinet would be in jail, from Chavez and his constant reinterpretation of the electric problem and the possible Guri collapse, which started with it is going to collapse if you don’t stop using energy, to it is the oligarchs who invented that it could collapse, to Giordani’s claim that the “Mutuos” created an avalanche of inflation, to El Assiami’s claim that crime is down, the Government lies, distorts and mutilates the truth daily without blinking. Just El Assiami’s claim that it was not Chavez but the “independent” Judiciary that jailed Alvarez Paz, should make Pinocchio’s nose pale in comparison.

Because in the end, Alvarez Paz was fairly irrelevant in Venezuela’s politics by now. He is not running for the National Assembly, is not that visible or even controversial.

So, what’s the grudge?

My feeling is the Government, yes Hugo Chavez himslef, wanted to intimidate and choose someone that was not a key leader of the opposition so that the message would get across without affecting someone involved in the upcoming elections or the Mesa de Unidad.

It is a warning to everyone to be careful, anyone can be arrested on the spot: Be careful what you say, nobody is untouchable, we are looking at you, this Dictatorship will not tolerate much!

As simple as that. Ramiro and Hugo are watching!

Because, among other things, Alvarez Paz is being accused of promoting hate, defamation and “conspiracy”. A conspiracy of one, which at least in Spanish makes little sense, but the robolution has never been a big one about making sense anyway.

But it is a scary step. The Chavez Government has decided to jail someone just because…To set an example. It is a new direction, overt, clear and direct intimidation.

Be ready!

Some interesting slides on Guri and the Corpoelec plan for new electric generation in Venezuela

March 23, 2010

I receive every month a very interesting report from the Venezuelan Academy for Engineering. It always has interesting facts, I particularly enjoy the pictures of unfinished public works by the Chávez Government.

In the latest report, which I got yesterday, there is this graph of the position of the turbines in Guri

As shown, eight of the Guri turbines (two of which are down) that generate 5,600 MW are at level of 238 meters, thus it would be impossible to operate at that height as said publicly by at least two Government officials. One of them actually said that it could operate at 236 meters. Note that there are six additional turbines at the lower level which are down.

The problem is that there is a phenomenon known as cavitation which damages the turbines. As the water level goes down, air bubble can gon in the turbines. These bubbles themselves are not the problem, the way I understnd is that as they collapse inside the trubine they create pressure waves which are at high frequency which lowers the efficiency and damages the turbines. The Guri dam specifications say that it should never be operated below 240 meters, but more importantly the specs say operation should be stopped even above that level.

An additional plot form the same presenttaion, not in the Bulletin of the Academy is shown below:

This plot shows the scheduled “new” capacity to come online in the next three years. As you can see Corpoelec projects new capacity in the next three years slightly above 4,000 MW, the same amount the Government claims it will install in the next 12 months. Note that this includes 400 MW of Planta Centro, which were scheduled to come online last October, then last February and now who knows when. Hopefully, the rest of the schedule will be more on time that repairing 400 MW of Planta Centro.

Today, the OPSIS website reports that inflow into the Guri dam jumped to 919 cubic meters per second, a sharp increase over the previous days. The water level dropped 14 centimeters, but it indicates there is significant rainfall in the Caroni basin. This is good news.

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