Timeline of Venezuelas Government’s electricity flip-flop

April 9, 2011

(Arturo Uslar Pietri: There are no black-outs here,just darkness for you and brightness for other countries)

July 8th. 2010. Ali Rodriguez Araque, Minister for Electricity:  We have overcome the Electric Crisis

Aug. 29 2010. Vice-President Elias Jaua: The Electric Crisis has been overcome.

Sep. 2nd. 2010. President Hugo Chavez : The revolution has increased electricity production in Zulia by 1000%

Sep. 3d. 2010 Venezuelan Embassy in the US: Targets for Electric Production have been exceeded.

Jan 14th. 2011. Hugo Chavez, Chief loud mouth: The Electric Crisis has been overcome (They even made a pamphlet out of it)

Feb 17th. 2011: Minister Rodriguez Araque: In the coming years there will be full supply (of electricity) and excess capacity.

March 30th. 2011. Reuters: Widespread power outages return to plague Venezuela.

April 1st. 2011. Ali Rodriguez Araque: We will implement a plan to avoid strict rationing.

April 5th. 2011: Minister for Electricity Rodriguez Araque: We are not rationing electricity.

April 6th. Deputy Andrade of PSUV: There is no electric crisis in Venezuela

April 7th. 2011. Minister for Electricity Rodriguez Araque: There will be rationing to stabilize the electric network.

April 8th.: El Universal: Blackout compromised 62% of electricity demand.

April 9th. President Chavez: Fire caused blackout, but I don’t discard the possibility of sabotage.

Even the excuse was predictable…

Updates:

I will be updating this post as time goes on.

April 25th: Minister for Electricity Ali Rodriguez: By 2012 the whole electric system will have been recovered. Not clear if sabotage will change his mind as he claims there was sabotage in two generators. I wonder who provides security at the plant?

May 9th. 50 blackouts daily in Venezuela.

May 12th. Head of Load Department of the Ministry Of Electricity: By 2012 you will be able to trust Venezuela’s electric system.

May 12th. Ali Rodriguez Minister for Electricity (Nationwide TV): Prophets of doom are once again announcing an electric collapse.

May 13th. Venezuela’s largest refinery complex hit by power outages.

May 17th. It has been six months since the official website of the electric sector publishes any statistics. Could it be because it would show how bad things are?

May18th. Minister of Electricity: By December electricity generation will be increased by 2,568 MW thanks to new distributed power systems and the overhaul of some units that are out of service.

May 26th. An “unexpected” interruption leaves three states without power. Carabobo, Falcon and Lara lost power tonight due to a problem in Planta Centro.

May 27th. Electric service restored in four States.

May 28th. Corpoelec applies rationing to compensate for electricity deficit.

May 30th. “Blackouts will be selective“. A professor of Electrical Engineer explains while it will be at the earliest in 2014 when the problems may be fixed in Venezuela’s electrical system.

June 1st: El Nacional Page C-7: Corpoelec had to shut down power in nineteen states “because it needed to”. This was stated by Igor Gavidia, Director of the National Center for Delivery of the Ministry for Electrical Energy. He gave a list of all of the “rationings”. (His words)

June 10th. Five hour blackout in Zulia State which affects four other states.

June 11th. Minister of Electricity: Electric service will be progressively restored by Sunday in Zulia State.

June 12th. The Government will announce emergency measures on electricity on Monday, June 13th.

June 12th. Minister Rodriguez Araque has censored all information about electricity in the country since November 2010

June 13th. Penalties are imposed on those that can not reduce consumption by at least 10%, the Government people’s consumption for the problems, not their incapacity.

June 27th. Electric system should stabilize by the end of 2011.

June 28th. CAF lends Venezuela US$ 320 million for overhaul of six turbines in Guri dam.

Sep. 5th. Chavez: We neglected the electric area

81 Responses to “Timeline of Venezuelas Government’s electricity flip-flop”

  1. captainccs Says:

    ¿Priety?

    I had a short 15 minute blackout in Caracas yesterday. I called EdeC and was on hold long enough for the lights to come back on.

  2. captainccs Says:

    August 6, 2006
    Uslar Pietri, Venezuelan Democracy’s Undertaker

    http://softwaretimes.com/files/uslar%20pietri,%20venezuelan%20d.html

  3. mike Says:

    captain, you miss the point, its not the duration of the blackout that matters, rather that it happened at all….more to the point, this post was a recitation of the outright lies said by the regime to cover their own backsides…thats all, but nice try at diverting from the point

  4. Gringo Says:

    Thugo:
    Fire caused blackout, but I don’t discard the possibility of sabotage.

    The old familiar excuse, perhaps most used during Stalin’s rule.

  5. m_astera Says:

    Good list of quotes Miguel. I’m still laughing.

    I guess what the gov’t did about last year’s electricity crisis was absolutely nothing.

    I’m going to get my battery/inverter system set up this week so I can at least run the computer and some lights for a few hours while the blackouts are happening. Just like living off-grid in the mountains.

  6. captainccs Says:

    >>>but nice try at diverting from the point<<<

    If a politician's lips are moving, he/she is lying. What else is new?

    My point is not "diversion" but the sad fact that Chavez is the natural outcome of a failed "so-called" democracy. I have pointed out on numerous occasions that what current Venezuelans complain about regarding Chavez are mostly things that earlier governments also did. But people, specially voters, have short memories. Of course, adecos and copeyanos hate me for it. So be it.

    BTW, I see that you failed to see the irony in my post: customer service is as bad as the electric service. LOL

  7. loroferoz Says:

    The government is an organization. Even more than other organizations, it fails to reach it’s projected goals, partly because there’s politics involved. Officials (and politicians) fib a lot, then. Officials (and politicians) are also comfortable with lying when campaigning, or when caught doing something wrong. Some are corrupt, some do shady things, or have partly hidden agendas.

    Chavismo, however follows the example of Chavez. Ever campaigning, never really following through with projects (much less making them feasible across administrations, they cannot imagine a future after them!). Chavismo is beyond shady, and to have corruption you should have institutions to corrupt already, they simply help themselves! Their whole agenda they are trying to hide and might as well be causing chaos, with their dubbing themselves revolutionaries and with the actual results.

    It has really ceased to matter whether they lie or fib.

  8. Roger Says:

    Before the Thursday outage , http://radardelosbarrios.blogspot.com/ ran a long article their effect in the ranchos. Along with a previous article on the lack of water and sanitation, they paint a very sad picture of the life of the lower classes. I doubt Hugo’s latest excuse went over well with them.

  9. deananash Says:

    Extreme times call for extreme measures. (I’ll let each of you decide for yourself just what qualifies as ‘extreme’. And history will decide for those who take action.)

    The U.S. Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson, resolves that: “Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government.”

    Of course, VZ isn’t America, but most of the educated world agrees with what this marvelous document states. Now, consider that the Chavez government hasn’t just “become destructive” of these ends, but has actually succeeded in destroying the consent, and the necessary “extreme measures” becomes crystal clear.

    And, by the way, considering the way America is abusing imminent domain, and wealth redistribution, I’d say that it’s more than halfway to this point also.

  10. maria gonzalez Says:

    Roger,
    I listening to the program after the outrage and the people in the barrios where talking about hoe they are affected no only by lack of electricity, but the lack of transportation and the crime proliferation that the outrage cause…so when the president said the other day in TV: “la oligarquia tenia una alaraca pero le duro poco” I just though about the people in the barrios…He really think that they are pendejos?

    I am sure that they do not want to use electricity shortage in Caracas because they know that if people start protesting …they will have a horrible crisis that they will not be able to control…I just have this feeling that their is the big time bomb that will explote any time…very sad

  11. Deanna Says:

    Before reading this post, I saw this article by Marta Colomina which gives a llist of woes Venezuelans have been suffering for the past 12 years.

    http://www.eluniversal.com/2011/04/10/un-dia-de-doce-aos-de-horror.shtml

  12. jeffry house Says:

    I don’t think it is unlikely that the self-sabotaging revolution was the victim of self-saboage here.

  13. captainccs Says:

    The objective, the purpose, of the robolution is to keep Chávez sitting on the Chair in Miraflores. The robolution has been very successful, Chavez has sat in that Chair for longer that CAP, Caldera or Perez Jiménez. Electric outages, food scarcity, thousands of violent deaths and other petty details are just distractions. The opposition should focus on defeating the robolution’s central tenet, keeping Chavez sitting on that bloody chair.

  14. Speed Gibson Says:

    its obviously Bush’s fault

  15. GB Says:

    I guess you will soon be seeing the effects of that wonderful nationalisation …… Agroisleña

  16. A_Antonio Says:

    I agree with Speed Gibson. With this opposition, USA does not show interest to change Chavez. The present status quo is most quietly economically for them than a violent change. Opposition is alone in the change, and has to be in elections, even the rules will favor Chavez.

  17. island canuck Says:

    GB: Venepiramides has a very good article on the results of the Agroisleña & other expropriations here:

    http://venepiramides.blogspot.com/2011/04/hiram-gaviria-chavez-arruino-el-campo.html

    In the case of Coffee the producers Cafe Madrid, El Peñon & Fama were producing 1 million kg monthly & today they do not get to 15% of this amount.

    Parmalat was receiving 300,000 lts of milk and is now only receiving 40,000.

    In 1998 we imported $1,700 millions of food & prime materials which was 10% of the total imports.
    In 2008 the number is $7,500 millions which is 17% of total imports.

    Very interesting article which is an interview with Hirám Gaviria, the ex minister of Agriculture.

  18. Iguana! Says:

    The best excuse of all times was that about the EVIL IGUANA in Puerto La Cruz a year ago (http://www.entornointeligente.com/resumen/resumen.php?items=1027352)

    No one, I mean, no one in the history of propaganda and fascism ever deviced such a degenerate explanation.

    They found a way to insult the intelligent public and make it laugh at the same time.

    Of course, chavista douchebag supporters believed it and thought it was a seriuos reason for blackouts.

    Sad evidence that chavistas are soulless and brainless humanoids.

  19. Pygmalion Says:

    canuck – I do not question your figures but what I do question is their relevance.

    The fact is that since the coffe companies were taken over and the milk producing companies and the government controlling imports, there have not been any of the fabled shortages suffered in the past.

    I know that this will disappoint many of the comentators here but this is a fact. So, what do I as a consumer care about these macro figures when the products I need for my household are always available and no tbeing hoarded? Thus, there is no shortage and hence no “disaster”. BTW – there are plenty of meat, chicken, fish, fruit and vegetables as well. No famine in sight at the moment.

  20. GB Says:

    Pyg ….. I guess you’ve got no electrical shortages either? Lol


  21. Pygmalion is correct, there are no shortages, nothing to see here, move along.

  22. Speed Gibson Says:

    antonio…….I wasnt really being serious about “it” being Bush’s fault…..its kind of a common joke now 2 years into Obozo’s term to still blame Bush for everything that goes wrong and give the new Massah the credit for things that go right…of which I cant really recall any right now…

    actually its the Venezuelan peoples fault for keeping this clown in office….

  23. captainccs Says:

    Like it or not, Pygmalion is mostly right. There are shortages but not much worse than under previous socialist governments. When CAP regulated the price of the arepa de queso amarillo, a sudden scarcity appeared overnight. The funny thing is that you could buy the arepas and the cheese separately, but not together. CAP’s socialism created an artificial shortage of arepas de queso amarillo. Under Cochino de Monte Herrera, socialism bankrupted my business and I swore never to invest in business in Venezuela ever again. How was socialism under Herrera better than under Chavez? Socialism is CRAP, period.

    So Chavez has been expropriating businesses. Herrera expropriated 20% of my business tools with his dia de parada. Being a salesman, I needed my car to do business. Was I compensaed? No way Jose! How is having one’s business expropriated under Chavez any worse that being bankruted by Luis Herrera? No difference!

    Then people complain about Chavez talking about paying with vouchers instead of with legal tender. So how is CestaTicket any different from a voucher? CestaTicket is NOT legal tender by any means.

    Some people who feel threatened can simply pick up and go to exile but most Venezuelans can’t. They have to grin and bear it and make the best of it.

    I’m certainly not a Chavez fan and I hate socialism under any political banner but critics sure have short memories. Which was the first Congress to give the president dictatorial powers? It was not the Assamblea Nacional under Chavez but the Congress during CAP’s second reign. How does that make this one worse than that one? I don’t see any difference.

    How was recadi better than cavidi?

    The only thing better before was that the adecos and copeyanos didn’t sell us down the river to Cuba and Castro. But, didn’t CAP give Bolivia a ship? Didn’t CAP support the Nicaraguan president with black funds? What about the frigates? Have they been forgotten? Or the repotenciacion of the army’s tanks?

    Do you want us to believe that the earlier presidents were a mix of Mother Theresa and Mahatma Gandhi? Give me a break!

  24. A_Antonio Says:

    Pyg says: “there have not been any of the fabled shortages suffered in the past”, No, now we have the “real ones”, and he can not blame others. Provably you have privilege access to high government or high military markets, all imported from USA and Europe; 18 years whisky?. Why you should be worry about this?.

    Speed Gibson, yes, I mean what you say. I mean, USA does not care much about Chavez. And Chavez knows that.

  25. loroferoz Says:

    Right, captainccs.

    You do well to remember what most people in opposition to Chavez choose to forget or do not want to say. Outside of Caracas, electrical outages were more or less commonplace, before Chavez. Now, surprise surprise…

    Maybe it’s not that ordinary people have a short memory or are subject to propaganda. Maybe they remember that the now-opposition up to the very day before Hugo Chavez stood (and still largely stands, with some exceptions) for socialism, demagoguery and populism. Hugo Chavez was more charismatic and more “simpatico”. The damage has been done, with a population well primed to believe in socialism, and well accustomed to populism and demagoguery, pliable to party machines that told them to vote automatically a straight one party ticket (sella las dos blancas, anyone?). Hugo was simply better at it. That’s why he has been in power for 12 years. And will continue to be, even if there’s a brief hiatus in 2012.

    The only chance will be in failure. Failure of socialism and of every one of it’s endeavors including PDVSA . And a substantially different ideological and economic offer for Venezuela, after the object lesson given by such failure.

  26. Pygmalion Says:

    GB – strange that myou mention electricity. We had an outagge for 45 minutes the other day and that’s it.

    A-Antonio – no, I go to Excelsior Gama like many people do or sometimes to the Abasto Bicentenario. I bouthgt 18 year old Buchanans as a gift the otehr day but if it had been for you I would have bought yo9u a bottle of Swords whisky.

  27. Dillis Says:

    Pygmalion,

    Outside Caracas and the main urban areas there are regular power outages. Here in Margarita we have been on rationing for the last 3 weeks, we lose power for at least 2 hours everyday. Outside the main urban areas it is a way of life that one has to get use to. It has only been reported by the press now because it is effecting Caracas (which scares Chavez).

    Also, why should there be a shortage of food in the supermarkets anyway? Is that an achievement?

  28. moctavio Says:

    During any ten years of the much maligned Ivth. Republic, there was more progress in electrfication than in the 12 years of Hugo , that is a fact.

  29. captainccs Says:

    >>>During any ten years of the much maligned Ivth. Republic, there was more progress in electrfication than in the 12 years of Hugo , that is a fact.<<<

    Miguel, correct me if I'm wrong. During the IVth Republic you had a government job. At IVIC, wasn't it?

    I was a capitalist trying to make a living in a socialist regime which bankrupted me.

    Could that be the reason we see things differently?

  30. moctavio Says:

    These are facts captainccs. I had a Govt. job in between, not the first 15 years, nor the last 7 years, I quite because I was sick of what was going on, but nobody can deny the elecrification of Venezuela in those years. Just think, Guri is supposed to provide 70% of the electricity of the country, it was supposed to be enough for years to come. Look at it now. Look at the other electric projects. The Ivth. had a plan, it was cancelled by Chavez and replaced by nothing.

  31. Carlos Says:

    Clowns.. that’s all.. all statements from government officials about electricity are just BS##… Shame on them

  32. moses Says:

    Captainccs:

    You are probably talking about the “dia de parada”, back in 1981 – to 1983 aprox. Cars were forbidden to circulate based in the last digit of the license plates, between 7:00 a and 7:00 pm, 1-6 on Monday, 2-7 on Tuesday and so on.

    On those days, there was no subway (started in 1982 with the Propatria – La Hoyada stations, line 1 and then up to Chacaito.) so traffic was pretty bad in Caracas.

    At first it was voluntary, then it was enforced on the main streets, and I dont remeber if it was later enfroced 100% on all main and side streets.

    I was a student, so I went to study before 7:00 am and went back after dark (no big deal).

    There were many stories some true, some not, , one was that many people bought a second car but the truth was that car sales dropped from all time high of 78-79 to 82 and fell off the table in 1983, another was that many people changed license plates to avoid it, but if you were caught, you got a heavy fine… this happened a lot, I knew friends who did it…

    It was part of several measures taken to reduce internal gasoline comsumption, another was to ban the assembly of 8 cilinder cars and to drop the speed limits to 80 kph.

    Now as a sales man going bankrupt due to loss of 20% sales ? Maybe there were other reasons such as inflation and bad economy in those years, drop of oil prices specially in 1982 and the first devaluation in 1983.

    Maybe Miguel remembers more about this ?

  33. moses Says:

    Here are several interesting proposals for improved transit in caracas:

    http://carlosmcp.wordpress.com/2010/11/04/propuestaii/

  34. captainccs Says:

    >>>Now as a sales man going bankrupt due to loss of 20% sales ? Maybe there were other reasons such as inflation and bad economy in those years, drop of oil prices specially in 1982 and the first devaluation in 1983.<<<

    I was talking about two different cases. Dia de parada was an inconvenience and I did change license plates on occasion. Still, when you are prohibited from using your property you are being expropriated and the Constitution says you should be reimbursed for your loss. I was not reimbursed. I paid for the lack of roads because we had lousy socialist governments.

    BTW, the reason we had good electricity in Caracas and frequent blackouts in the interior is that in Caracas electricity was supplied by one of the oldest capitalistic enterprises in Venezuela which has now been expropriated by Chavez and his gang. In the interior, electricity was supplied by the socialistic government run Cadafe. Another stark contrast between the failure of socialism and the triumph of capital.

    My business went broke after viernes negro when I was forced to sell my old inventory at old prices. I was then selling Apple IIs. We got them for Bs. 7,000 and the regulated price was $10,000. We gave customers a 15% discount grossing Bs. 1,500 (21.4% markup). After viernes negro I was allowed to sell at full retail, $10,000 but my new cost was over $15,000. Where I had been able to stock two before now I could only stock one. In effect viernes negro stole my working capital. Pretty soon the local distributor, who was not willing to bribe recadi, went out of business. Since I could not get preferential dollars, Apple IIs bought in the gray market in Miami cost me more than what Cisneros was selling at retail in Caracas. I went into the refurbishing business and later into contraband to keep my business alive. Finally the stress got to me and I wound up in the hospital. That is when I said that these socialist SOBs were not going to kill me. I never invested in Venezuela again nor will I.

    So, yes, Guri got built but the interior still suffered from continuous blackouts and Caracas had light because it was supplied by a capitalist enterprise.

  35. moctavio Says:

    Chavez managed EDC lost a billion Bolivars in 2010

  36. Kepler Says:

    Pygmalion,

    Are you going to answer about Makled? Or just ignore that as usual? You keep coming up here, stating something very stupid like “you say X while there is no proof” and then someone has to come and show you the link. In every case you seem to state something that is if not pro-Chavez at least anti-anything the alternative forces say.

    Could you also state your political position here. Or are you going to go on pretending you are just “asking questions”, being “an independent mind who thinks things are not going that bad in Venezuela, even if some of them are not perfectly managed”.

    You suck, man. I wonder why you come time after time here.

  37. maria gonzalez Says:

    I can believe that you guys are discussing about the past. Are we going to justify the bad Chavez government because CAP, CAldera and others also were bad? THis is the typical excuse that many Venezuela give for many years between AD and COPEI. Just remember that the oil price in the last 12 years has been >$40…Can this government can justify the lack of investment in infrastructure with this oil prices? No!
    So give me a break…what I want and many other Venezuelans is not going to the past but something better that the crap that we had now that is much worse that all the crap that we had before…

  38. captainccs Says:

    >>>I can believe that you guys are discussing about the past. Are we going to justify the bad Chavez government because CAP, CAldera and others also were bad? <<<

    maria gonzalez:

    "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Jorge Santayana.

    One has to understand the past to know why things are wrong today.This is as true in Venezuela as anywhere else.

    Chavez didn't spring out of nowhere. He is the logical culmination of a decrepit so called democracy. He was praised in Congress by Cadera. That was the speech that probably got Caldera and the chiripero elected. The chiripero government is a clear example of a man who abandons the party he created just so he can become president again. It's the bloody love of the seat at Miraflores! It has nothing to do with love of country.

    Miguel was a government bureaucrat for 18 years and he quit because things were going from bad to worse. He must have gotten the job during CAP's first reign and quit during CAP's second reign. IVIC was not the only thing going from bad to worse. CAPs impeachment was a terrible precedent. Uslar's campaign in favor of "Los Notables" was a dagger in the heart of democracy.

    Without any doubt, adecos and copeyanos begat Chavez, specially copeyanos, specially Caldera who let him out of jail. And let's not forget the "bozal de arepa" the "arepa muzzle" (Betancourt) that was supposed to keep the military in check. Well, it didn't work.

    People get the governments they deserve. Or as Pogo said it: "We have met the enemy and he is us."

    http://www.igopogo.com/we_have_met.htm

    We need to reflect deeply on why Chavez is in power. We did elect him and it was a "voto castigo" (punishment vote). Just who were we punishing? Just the chiripero or the whole IV Republic? We are not alone in doing stupid things. In the USA they too use the voto castigo. It got them Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama, two of the worst presidents America has ever elected. Let's stop being stupid!


  39. I was no bureaucrat, I worked my tail off as a scientist fo salaries that were typically below 500 bucks a month, created a world class scientific group, graduated twenty Master degrees and three Ph.D.’s, publishing 84 scientific papers and can prove it.

    Chavez is in power because Venezuelan politicians are bad and continue to be bad. Caldera was an egotist who opened the way to Chavez. Cap at least changed his ways and then people rejected it. I dont see it changing any time soon.

  40. maria gonzalez Says:

    Captainccs,
    1. I think you miss the point of my comment…I understand perfectly why Chavez got to power…believe me I understand it any time that I meet many Venezuelans now in other countries…the superficiality of the average Venezuelans is why he got to power. Past governments did their fair share also….but please just stop the winning!

    2. Well I think you are one of those individuals that believe in take the government out of my back, but please do not touch my medicare. I think that the worse government in USA since the 80′s has been Bush son’s. Two wars (Afghanistan and Iran… and the housing crisis started in his government!

    3. I think your idea of a bureaucrat is a little unclear to me…IVIC scientist where the only ones that did good sciences in Venezuela when MO was in the IVIC and believe me being a scientist in Venezuela or USA (I am a full professor in a USS University) is very far from being a bureaucratic job! We teach, we do research and service for the University (I work 50 hr a week!) and the real bureaucrats are the administrators of the Universities! So get your fact straight.!

  41. captainccs Says:

    >>>3. I think your idea of a bureaucrat is a little unclear to me<<>>but please just stop the winning!<<>>2. Well I think you are one of those individuals that believe in take the government out of my back, but please do not touch my medicare.<<<

    I don't get medicare. I'm not an American citizen. I don't live in the USA. How would I be getting medicare? Being a Venezuelan citizen living in his own country I should be entitled to the benefits of Seguro Social Obligatorio. I don't get those either. I pay all my bills on my own, with my money, earned with hard work, not in government jobs but being self employed since 1967.

    Maybe instead of just thinking, you should get the facts first.

  42. captainccs Says:

    Darn, my post got mangled!

    >>>3. I think your idea of a bureaucrat is a little unclear to me

    In my book, anyone who works for the government is a bureaucrat. Some bureaucrats work hard and are useful but they are the exception. ;)

    >>>but please just stop the winning!

    I sure wish I was winning but at this point I’m losing but not whining. LOL

    >>>2. Well I think you are one of those individuals that believe in take the government out of my back, but please do not touch my medicare.

    I don’t get medicare. I’m not an American citizen. I don’t live in the USA. How would I be getting medicare? Being a Venezuelan citizen living in his own country I should be entitled to the benefits of Seguro Social Obligatorio. I don’t get those either. I pay all my bills on my own, with my money, earned with hard work, not in government jobs but being self employed since 1967.

    Maybe instead of just thinking, you should get the facts first.

  43. Iguana! Says:

    captainccs is almost as full of shit as pygmallion…

    always opinions without facts.

    and, what is worse, every sentence has a logical error in it, mainly phallacies, i.e.:

    1) equaling “dia de parada” with expropriation…
    2) equaling a former public employee (such as Miguel) working for a democratic government to the mercenaries that constitute today’s chavista bureocracy…
    3) equaling bad social-democrat policies from the past (price regulation, etc.) to communist chavista policies aiming to exterminate the private sector.

    let us bear in mind that the pre-chavista goverments made many mistakes and the system had terrible faults. but it was, indoubtedly, “a democracy”. democracies are always perfectible, but “a democracy” of some kind is better than none.

    everyday, since 1998, Venezuela has less of a democracy and more of a communist dictatorship. for the naive, remember that some dictatorships can allow elections and opposition parties…

    my personal opinion is that “a democracy”, even flawed as the one we had in 1958-1998 is better than none.

    had we not fallen into the chavista trap (legitimacy by vote, but not by exercise), we could be in the path that Colombia, Perú, Brasil, and other are

  44. captainccs Says:

    >>>captainccs is almost as full of shit as pygmallion…

    >>>and, what is worse, every sentence has a logical error in it, mainly phallacies, i.e.:

    I have a phallacy but I keep it in my pants. LOL

  45. maria gonzalez Says:

    Well since you are not investing your money in Venezuela, I though that you where living in another country…I am curious where are you investing these days?

    How somebody that as not live in USA can make such a strong statement about governments in this country?…you opinnion is very similar to the many conservatives in USA that what the government back of their life except for medicare and of course abortion…let a bunch of “old males” in congress regulate the right of women to choose!…

    Some bureaucrats work hard and are useful but they are the exception…
    I could say the same of self employed people like you …but I hate to generalize like you do.

    You are the typical winner…Chavez is bad, but CAP and COPEI were worse…poor me poor me…and nobody will be better… poor me poor me.

  46. captainccs Says:

    >>>Well since you are not investing your money in Venezuela, I though that you where living in another country…I am curious where are you investing these days?

    Do you really expect me to disclose this information on a public forum?

    >>>How somebody that as not live in USA can make such a strong statement about governments in this country?

    I read the press, the blogs, the Internet.

    As for the rest of your post , you are certainly entitled to your opinions.

  47. A_Antonio Says:

    “my personal opinion is that “a democracy”, even flawed as the one we had in 1958-1998 is better than none.” I endorse Iguana’s Opinion.

    Now Venezuela has a Castro-comunism-nazi-socialism mix.

  48. maria gonzalez Says:

    “I read the press, the blogs, the Internet.”

    I hope that you read different sources…as you know in Venezuela that read a lot but only VEA, APORREA or the blog pay by the government. So when you talk about politics of another country that you ever have lived…include your sources!

    Do not worry about answer back…I am done with this discussion! Have a nice day :)

  49. maria gonzalez Says:

    Sorry I miss some words

    I hope that you read different sources…as you know many people in Venezuela read a lot but only VEA, APORREA or the blog pay by the government or only watch VTV and TELESUR.

    So when you talk about politics of another country that you ever have lived…include your sources!

  50. A_Antonio Says:

    Maria Gonazalez, Do not forget Ciudad CCS newspaper, even his name is very suspicious.

  51. maria gonzalez Says:

    You are correct A_Antonio!

  52. captainccs Says:

    >>>Maria Gonazalez, Do not forget Ciudad CCS newspaper, even his name is very suspicious.

    That’s funny! Google “captainccs”

    I used to be on a FileMaker Pro discussion board on CompuServe many years ago. When they allowed user names instead of just numeric codes I started using “captainccs.” A fellow poster used to call me Captain Caracas since I’m both a sailor and a caraqueño. You can now find me under captainccs at Twitter, Tumbler, etc.

    As for reading sources. I don’t have a TV set so poison like Aporrea can’t make it into my home. I’m a big Amazon.com customer. Just now I’m wading through Professor Joseph Stiglitz’s Freefall. You can find my book reviews at my personal website.


  53. A bureaucrat is a person who sits at a desk and does administration, they can exist both in Govt. or the private sector, I was no bureaucrat, I did things, built things, educated.

  54. captainccs Says:

    >>>I was no bureaucrat, I did things, built things, educated.

    Now you are in the private sector which is excellent! Welcome!


  55. I m in the private sector because the Government in Venezuela was not hospitable to what I did, but what I did was required if Venezuela is ever going to be a developed country. Right now we are back to the 1960′s in the quality of reasearch done in Venezuela.

  56. captainccs Says:

    >>>I m in the private sector because the Government in Venezuela was not hospitable to what I did, but what I did was required if Venezuela is ever going to be a developed country.

    Miguel, with this note I’ll end my little diatribe against socialism seeing as how here it falls on deaf ears. But rest assured that the private sector is always happy to have smart people like you. That’s why there is such a large brain drain towards the USA and not towards Venezuela.

  57. Nunne Says:

    How come it always get down to either public or private sector?

    You need both.. Nothing wrong with either.
    I can pinpoint ALOT of companies and institutions here that the government runs better than private companies do. But also the other way around, of course.

    Nothing in this world is black and white :)

  58. Kepler Says:

    captainccs,

    I think you really do not understand how powers work. The borders between private and public are not so clear-cut, not even in the US and not even in the US now, during Reagan’s time or when George Washington was alive. The way in which both were intertwined is something that would not please many of those who believe, like Jehova witnesses, in one or the other as “the absolute solution”.

    captainccs,
    This is not a lefty credo, at least not in Europe: the US, as well as every Europan power, did not become powerful just because of “free enterprise”. Hell, there was never even free trade, but just free trade for “OUR products and we bomb you if you don’t.” And those things came about because of heavy government intervention.

    Do you have any idea about how DARPA has influenced US technology?
    And the sam is true with several organisations in Europe.

    Man, it is about time we Venezuelans stop running like naive children to embrace either statists and commies or blokes who tell us “accept free trade on OUR conditions (as they never did nor do), trust the market as markets are perfect and social laws are just like the laws of physics.

    I agree with Nunne.

  59. Bill near Slidell Says:

    I would love to ask the electricity minister why, when they are digging up Canada in search of junk quality oil, does Venezuela, with the second largest (the largest if you exclude USA oil shale that is uneconomic to utilize at present prices) oil deposits on Earth, have ANYTHING rationed? It’s NUTS.

  60. elroy Says:

    Having finally divested all of our Mgta Isl real estate + a few other properties we are safely esconced in Texas where the time on your microwave oven stays forever.Now looking for some other carribean country where there is a good “playa” if there is low crime,lights,water + a right wing government it will be a plus(Ha!!)
    I think all countries should immediately ban all sales of blonde hair dye to Venezuela + the Ven government should ban all cosmetic surgery.I promise you there would be a revolution soon,if not immediately…

  61. moctavio Says:

    Turks and Caicos, no right wing Government, in fcat, no Government right now, but the rest is perfect.

  62. captainccs Says:

    Kepler asks:

    >>>Do you have any idea about how DARPA has influenced US technology?

    DARPA financed the development of the Internet back in the 1960s and the Internet has changed the way the world works, not just US technology.

    But that is not the whole story. Obviously there is a place in society for government just as there is a place for the private sector. The question being debated is how large each one should be. On the extreme right, Ayn Rand would limit government to military, police and judiciary. On the extreme left, communists would have government do everything with humans reduced to feeding on what the state provides. A reasonable system is going to be somewhere in between. What we are arguing about is how far right or left of center the system should be.

    Believe it or not, Ayn Rand would probably have agreed with DARPA developing the Internet! The “D” in DARPA stands for Defense. DARPA is a military institution and the military is the proper area of interest for the government. The original purpose of the Internet was to build a fail-safe communications system that could withstand atomic attack. Compared to the telephone system, the Internet degrades gracefully when under attack while the telephone system fails catastrophically under the same conditions of attack. The Internet was developed at the height of the Cold War when MAD was the war posture adopted by both sides. The Internet was an effort to build something that the Soviets would not be able to destroy with a nuclear attack.

    The only reason for the lengthy explanation is to show how irrelevant your example is to the subject under discussion. Let’s take IVIC which was a similar government institution as DARPA. Miguel claims that without IVIC there would be no research in Venezuela and I grant that he is right. But the more fundamental question is why is there no private sector R&D in Venezuela. In the US private companies do basic research with private funds. A most noted example is PARC, Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center; IBM has the Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., and the most famous is (was?) probably Bell Labs. This should be proof enough that research can be done by the private sector and it is not the exclusive realm of government action. This proves that Miguel’s claim is faulty. Miguel’s claim is valid for Venezuela because the private sector is not allowed to flourish in Venezuela.

    There are numerous ways for government to drive out the private sector. Expropriation a la Chavez is the most drastic. But didn’t the IVth Republic expropriate the oil industry? The main difference was that the IVth paid fair compensation. IMO, it would have been more productive to regulate the oil industry than to expropriate it. But, of course, our constitutions, built partly on European models, assigns the ownership of mineral rights to the current king even if the wording says that mineral rights belong to the state. Do you remember how Luis Herrera robbed PDVSA’s coffers when the government ran out of money? That didn’t suffice so we had Viernes Negro.

    As an aside, when I started developing Mac software I offered the Universidad Simon Bolivar funding for a thesis based on “The Office Language” which would be an extension of the Graphic User Interface (GUI). By the time a student showed interest, I was going broke (thanks Luis Herrera!) so the project died stillborn.

    As you can see, amigo Kepler, it is not a question of black and white but of shades of gray. If we lived under a true democracy we could settle the issue at the polls because it is a matter of opinion. I’ve called the IVth a “so-called democracy” and I’ll have to explain my reasons. A true democracy where the “demos” actually rules, as in Athens, is not possible in our modern mega-states. The next best alternative is “representative democracy” where regional groups of “demos” elect regional representatives at national, state, city, and lower levels. At the core of representative democracy is the electoral system. Ideally it should be one-man one-vote. When the American Founding Fathers were thrashing out their Constitution, they discovered that one-man one-vote alone would not carry the day — small states feared more populous states. To reach agreement, a second chamber was added to the Congress where, instead of the “demos” being represented, the states qua states would be equally represented (two senators each). But the Founding Fathers, belonging mostly to the elite, didn’t trust the rabble to elect the president directly so the instituted the Electoral College which has come under serious attack lately. The superpower that goes to war to export “democracy” is neither a true democracy, not even a true representative democracy, but the democracy that could be achieved by horse trading by men of good will.

    My issue with the IVth Republic democracy was the electoral system. Initially it relied solely on the “voto lista” (slate of candidates) for representatives. The slate is designed to give power to the political parties and take it away from the “demos.” For those who do not know how slates of candidates work, allow me to give you an explanation. Those who do know, skip ahead to the next paragraph. Let’s suppose there are two parties and 100 representatives to be elected. Each party draws up a list of 100 candidates. When the vote is counted party A got 60% of the votes and the top 60 people on list A become representatives. Since party B got 40% of the vote, the top 40 people on list B become representatives. In practice the system was much more convoluted with the addition of “proportional representation.” If a party typically gets 40% of the vote, the top 40 on the list are likely to be “elected” the top 20% are pretty much guaranteed election and the bottom 40 candidates are nothing but filler since they don’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell of getting elected. Under these circumstances, if you wanted to be a representative, who would you curry favor with, the electorate or the party? In effect, slates of candidates reduce representative democracy in favor of political parties running the show. There is a much weakened, indirect representation taking place.

    Because voting by slate is so unfair, the IVth Republic saw a movement in favor of “voto uninominal” where you vote for the candidate of your preference by name. As far as I can tell, this is the closest you can get to a real democracy in a modern mega-state. Of course, the political parties were widely against this measure which would curtail their power. Eventually we got 50% of the candidates elected by slate and the other half by name which certainly was a move in the right direction.

    The above battle included an incident which shows how two-faced our parties are. Up until 1943 (Isaías Medina Angarita), the oil concessions were divided 60% in favor of the oil companies and 40% for the Venezuelan state. The adeco battle cry was “Fifty-fifty!” They wanted Venezuela to get a fair share of the oil. During the negotiations for “voto uninominal” the parties knew they would have to cede some power but they tried to minimize the damage. I recall perfectly CAP’s reply when asked about allowing voto uninominal: “Fifty-fifty!” I love irony. While they were in exile, “Fifty-fifty!” was the battle cry to defend Juan Bimba against the nasty American Imperialist Dogs. Once they were in power, “Fifty-fifty!” became the battle cry to defend the party against the nasty Juan Bimba who wanted to be fairly represented.

    I hope I have convinced you that for me it’s not a matter of blind ideology, I realize that if democracy is perfectible it must be not perfect in the first place.

    In the preface to the 2002 edition of Capitalism and Freedom, Milton Friedman wrote about the three freedoms: Civil, Economic, and Political. You might be interested in how these freedoms, or the lack of them, have worked out in Venezuela:

    http://softwaretimes.com/files/three%20freedoms%20civil,%20eco.html

  63. Deanna Says:

    Agree with elroy: ban all blonde hair dyes and comestic surgery and I bet that MUD wouldn’t have to do much to make sure that Chavez is overthrown!!!! In addition, make sure that sanitary napkins are no longer available!!!

  64. moctavio Says:

    There is research and there is development, very little of either is done in Venezuela by the private sector or the Government. You have to start from the ground up, I was involved with both. In order to have an impact you need many more people in both research and development than Venezuela has ever had in place and high quality. We had only a small number of “high quality”

    PDVSA is a good example. IVIC spun off Intevep once a critical number of people was in place. Intevep generated technology yhat was very useful for PDVSA, Venezuela became #1 or #2 in heavy crude research, orimulsion was invented, that alone paid off all the money ever invested in both IVIC and INTEVEP. But even if it did there are quite a few people who have done a lot for Venezuela thanks to the education that OIVIC gave them. That’s the point research is one more cog in the educational system, it pushes people to the edge of knowledge that is the only way they will do anything in science or technology.

    Of course, Chavez destroyed all of that.

    Even before that, the private sector has been decimated by the Government. Venezudela had a very interesting and embryonic electronics industry in the early 80′s Luis Herrera killed it with his devaluation. If that had not happen, those companeis could have gone a long way, they were doing interesting and original things, no subsidies, at the birth of the pc industry boom. Avtek, Microtel, Mario Vecchi’s PC company, just to remember a few.

    In fact, because of the oil money Venezuela had very good computer infrasstructure in the 80′s which the Government never decided to take advantage off. IBM even established a scientific center in Venezuela.

    Without that type of human and physical infrastructure no country will ever develop.

    My father started a small company in the 1950′s it even did a lil bit of technological development, the company exists today, but has to deal and worry with CADIVI, it never made much money, it is always at the edge of survival, little did he know that the first days of the company were going to be the heyday in terms of technology, new things. I also thought Venezuela would become a powerhouse when I came back in the 70′s , we had the people, money, we did not have the Government or the vision to do it. Today, I think we are way far behind those days, we dont have the few good people in place and the people in the future, there is no scholarship program like we had then, the future Ph.D.’s leave the country.

    At the time were were winning international awards, today Venezuelans go abroad and win them. A friend of mine, retired from IVIC went to a European country, developed a small technological thingy and a French company bought his department basically. That could have happened here. And it did, at INTEVEP, the Foundation for Engineering Research, Los Andes technological park (whatever it is called), even Polar had research for a while. You need critical mass, Chavez made sure that it will never happen in my lifetime.

  65. captainccs Says:

    >>> Avtek, Microtel, Mario Vecchi’s PC company, just to remember a few.

    These are examples of private sector R&D destroyed by the IVth Republic.

    Thank you for helping me prove my point!

    Friends of mine doing Spanish language accounting software for the Apple II had to close shop and move to Miami. That was quite an incredible story, worth repeating:

    The government set up an export incentive program and my friends were advised to use the opportunity since they were exporting the software to Miami where Spanish speakers had no other alternatives. Off they went to the government agency that handed out the incentives and they were asked for their registration in the “Regisro de Industrias.” Not being an industry but a software house they didn’t have that bit of “permisología” so off they went to register as an industry. Back then Caracas was pretty polluted and the government set up another useful program to move industry out of Caracas and to industrial zones like Guayana. Some time after registering as an industry they received an official order to move out of Caracas. I’m not sure how much pollution six guys writing software produce but they could not get the order cancelled. You are registered as an industry therefore you pollute therefore you must get out of Caracas. They did, but not to Guayana. To Miami.

  66. moctavio Says:

    I dont think we differ in that part!

  67. moctavio Says:

    Move because of pollution. Been there, done that.

  68. Pygmalion Says:

    HI Kepler – I just saw your concerned post. Sorry to inform you but just becaise I do not think like the radical (democratic?) opposition you seem to think that I am some sort of “chavista”. That’s a very shortsighted and narrow minded way of lookingat things.

    Makled – he’s innocent until proven guilty in a tribunal – either in Venezuela or elsewhere. That’s how things work here and it does not matter even if he confesses outside of the tribunal. The only place he can be convicted – or proven innocent for that matter – is before a judge. We bloggers are not judge, jury and executioner even though it appears that you think otherwise.

    My politial position is rational opposition. Not radical and insulting as you are. I am a very toleant person in comparision to many who comment here.

  69. A_Antonio Says:

    Two comments, about last from CapitainCCS and MO.

    1) When CAP nationalize oil industries, the major companies were not interested much in oil refinery or oil industrial business in Venezuela, oil was cheap and mayor refineries with few decades need mayor maintenance works, so they only will try to focus in extraction. That’s one of the main reasons to nationalization; that is why major companies and countries do not opposite much to it and even can be considered a good deal. On the other side, the PDVSA achievement was take this needed to maintenance infrastructure and became one of the bigger oil companies of the world. All this effort is now lost.

    2) Democracy was lost in Venezuela because the old leaders like CAP, Caldera, Alfaro Ucero did not permit new generations to get responsibilities and have access to power, CAP II, Caldera II, they simple consider their self necessary to their democracy and considered that without their self, not democracy is possible. All wants their “conucos” of power if they lost it, democracy can go to hell. I think after the intend coup of 1982, Alfaro Ucero, AD and Copey should be more supportive towards CAP, not the person, but because was the president democratic elected that a military coup try to defeat it. No, everybody go after him to wring him down so I can sit in his chair AFAP, (nobody, after me, really counts in the democracy). And nobody thought the consequences of their acts in the very fragile democracy, very weakened by the previous politics, moral and economics incompetence, and egoism of the leaders; and provably they sentenced to this present democracy to be “a cartoon” to decades to come.

  70. m_astera Says:

    Calling the government the “public sector” is about as Orwellian as one can get. Sorry, but the public is not welcome, especially in decision making.

    So let’s call it government. What is the difference between government and private industry/free trade? Private industry offers a product or service. Their potential clients can either take it or leave it. If the public values the product or service they will support the company by buying it. If the public does not value the product or service, the company fails.

    Even if the demand is there, private industry must deal with competitors; the greater the demand the greater will be the number of competitors. In that environment, whoever provides the best product or service at the best price will generally prevail.

    Let’s contrast this with government. Government demands that they be supported. If you don’t give them the money they demand from you, they will try you in their fully-owned legal system and either take your property by force or imprison you or both. There is no requirement for government to produce any product or service of value; they may claim that they are providing a service, but the public is given no choice whether they want that service or not, or if they wish to pay for it, or how much they wish to pay for it. Most tellingly, anyone who tries to compete with the government in providing the services that the government claims a monopoly on will be prosecuted, fined, have their property confiscated, and/or be imprisoned after being tried in the courts that are another thing the government claims a monopoly on.

    Any other entity acting in this manner, using force and coercion to take property from others, forcing others to pay for “services” whether they are desired or not, and fining or imprisoning any person or group that tries to compete with their monopoly, would rightly be considered a criminal entity.

    So tell me why the government isn’t a criminal organization by its very definition of self-appointed powers?

    (and I’m not even going to reply to anyone trying to tell me that because my neighbors voted for some clown that I should have to let this clown tell me what to do)

  71. moses Says:

    Talking about software development in Venezuela, if you played Domino in the 80´s check today what happened with its Venezuelan inventor: Daini Software, I think he emigrated to Italy were he set up a software company:

    http://www.juegodomino.com/

    http://www.dainisoftware.com/company.aspx

  72. Kepler Says:

    captainccs,

    I am anti-communist. Ayn Rand was a very emotional writer of bestsellers who just worked on her traumas from the Russian revolution by producing those “works” without having much of a grip about how the US came to be or about world history in general. Her proposals about free trade and capitalism are so utopian as Marxism itself, without the analysis of the society Marx produced.

    Marx screwed it up completely when it came to proposing a solution for the socioeconomic developments of his days. He got it completly wrong with “what to do”.

    But he did get a rather good analysis of the “what is it now?” (XIX century), an analysis that anyone interested in understanding those times should read. Rand gave a proposal that people in the English world called philosophy. If we call that philosophy, I think we should put Tolkien at the level of Socrates.

    As I said: a lot of private companies have always been more intertwined with government than you would think.
    It was not DARPA only, I could go on for ages with examples. The US heavily invested in education in the sixties to catch up and surpass the Soviets in the space race. MIT was heavily funded by governmental agencies, including PENTAGON. The interaction between the weapons industry and the government and th way the US “secured” foreign markets in the XIX century and good part of the XX was incredible.
    A lot of the initial advantages of the US came to be by invasion of vast amount of land – a clash of civilisations with different technological levels that go beyond the capitalist-socialist issues, check out Jared Diamond’s work on the development of societies-. The US cannot expand as easily now and it is forced to compete on much fairer terms than before and it is in deep trouble, as Europe. People in other countries are catching up, not last because of averag – AVERAGE – education levels going up and some of their governments taking pragmatic movements with regards to economics – example China-.

    You should analyse how many billions the US government actually provides to the private corporations through a little bit of “muscle excertion” abroad. And it is the same with European countries.

    - Saudi royal family gives billions and billions to US companies. US makes sure the Saudi royal family can survive
    - US intervenes in Ruanda and a couple of neighbouring countries to get them out of the French sphere and get some rare earths
    - French intervene in Congo to get rare earths and finance different movements that fight each other so that in the mayhem French companies have privileged access to the mines
    - US, EU have been subsidizing and protecting their markets for centuries now while at the same time pretending to be the promotors of free trade (but only of the products for which they would benefit)

    I think we all agree it is not black-and-white.
    Still, ther is no “right” proportion ever. The right mix is constantly changing and it varies depending on each country and time. And we always have to find out, try and fix as fast as possible and get rid of rigid theories.
    Only constant adaptability can assure survival.

  73. Kepler Says:

    I think there is another point to why we failed. It is the mixture of the Devil’s Excrement with the education levels.
    Let me be clear: I know Miguel belongs to the best of the academic world in Venezuela and could compete with anyone else. I know USB and some faculties in other places were producing top researchers. I know we did a quantum jump from the times of my grandparents.
    Still, politics and lack of accountability and again politics in education led to all the progress disappearing faster than what the top researchers could make it up for.

    Venezuela had about 10 million people in 1970. Venezuela had 22 million inhabitants for 1998.
    The first two years of school pupils will get in the fifties were like the first 6 years of school of pupils in the nineties: quality in public schools had gone to pot.
    This does not need to be.
    While I could go to a public school – the best public school non-Catholic- in Valencia in the eighties- a woman who is now cleaning lady could not attend more than some years of basic education in her village in Lara. There were millions like her and we did not know about it.
    When the government decided in 1998 to let average pupils take part in an evaluation of maths and writing/reading skills, they came, as I said 200 times LAST in maths in a UNESCO competition of Latin American countries (well below Bolivia, second worst) and position 40 out of 40 in an IEA study on reading/comprehension.

    Now: add that to population explosion and oil price fluctuation. Consider our governments ignore ignorance but assume people are stupid and cannot understand well designed campaigns.


  74. [...] while back I wrote this post to show the timeline of contradictions by the Government and I have actually been updating it given [...]


  75. [...] while back I wrote this post to show the timeline of contradictions by the government, and I have actually been updating it [...]


  76. [...] victory many times over the electrical crisis and blamed problems on sabotage and the weather. I still keep my time daily on announcements from Government officials and the flip-flopping continues. Clueless is the best way to describe [...]

  77. Daveed Says:

    What is the status of this issue in 2012?

  78. moctavio Says:

    There are brownouts and blackouts regularly still, particularly in the interior of Venezuela.


  79. A work mate referred me to your resource. Thank you for
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  80. […] d’état by the extreme right. Once again, the sabotage story was left without evidence, just like many others. Even though it’s obvious that a very big part of the problem is due to corruption inside […]

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