During the last two weeks, there have been three events in Venezuela which demonstrate the basic incompetence of the Chavez Government. First, the Cupira bridge fell down, despite earlier warnings that it needed maintenance. Then, there was yet another tragedy at a Venezuelan jail, this time the Yare prison, which left 20 people dead. Finally, in the early hours of Saturday, an explosion rocked the Amuay refinery in Falcon State, leaving at least 39 dead and 89 injured.
The Government has tried to evade responsibility in all three cases. Without an investigation, the Head of the refinery complex was already saying that deferred maintenance had nothing to do with the worst accident in PDVSA’s history. A temerary statement to say the least. There may be no record of maintenance for Cupira, there is not even an annual report for the newly created Ministry of Prisons, but PDVSA’s Memoria y Cuenta, which you can find here, tells the full story of delayed maintenance and increased accidents and shut downs.
As an example, the Paraguana Refinery Complex is composed of Amuay and Cardon. According to the Memoir, Amuay was supposed to be shutdown nine times in 2011 (page 371):
But seven of them were postponed until 2012 for lack of parts. Thus, not only there was no maintenance, but there was no planning for it either, as the parts and materials necessary were not purchased ahead of time.
Cardon is even worse, there were thirteen scheduled stops for maintenance:
In fact, if we go back to Amuay and look at the ten plants it is composed of, these are the days of programmed (42 days) and un-programmed (639 days or 64 per plant on average)
What this shows is the failure of the Chavista model. You can’t fire 20,000 people because you disagree with them. You can’t hire people on the basis of loyalty. You can’t have someone be The Minister of Energy and Oil and the President of PDVSA and Head political honcho at PSUV and have him be at all of Chavez’ speeches and rallies and hope that PDVSA and/or the Ministry will run well. You can’t give away ambulances to Bolivia and not have any near one of biggest industrial complexes where they may be needed. You cant’ have all your Ministers involved with the day to day of the Presidential campaign. And so on.
In fact, you can’t put politics and ideology above all. The sad truth is that all of the political leaders of Chavsimo have been involved in the last two months with the campaign and nothing else. The Ministers are all at political meetings and get involved with he most detailed planning. Nothing is being done to run the country. Announcements are made that are only meant to gain votes, but decisions are being postponed until after the election. A campaign they can fund, micro-manage and over manage. A country? Sorry, that is not the priority.
Meanwhile the strategy is deny and minimize, while the outgoing-Presidente-saliente either can’t appear on camera live or has been advised not to do so.
It would seem irrational for the voters not to react to all this. A horrible tragedy has developed in front of their eyes and the same man who claims to “love” the people and appears on TV for the most trivial events is still in hiding. The country is falling apart, piece by piece due to Chavista mismanagement, but it is nobody’s responsibility. Even medical supplies for the injured are limited, they are probably sitting on a ship outside the Puerto Cabello port now under Cuban management.
It’s all part of the same tragedy.