Not Anymore

 OK, so you remember when we talked about Maduro inventing a new,and totally unconstitutional, government position of “Protector of the People”? You know, the one that the Chavistas put in place to usurp power wherever they lost an election to the opposition. Well, in his new campaign to show the world he’s not a dictator, that Venezuela is truly a democracy, Maduro announced he will do away with that position. “…no matter who wins, that the winner governs their state.” Just another example of Chavismo offering up a concession that would not be necessary were it not for Chavismo.

 Oh, and VP Delcy Rodriguez let everybody know they can put their fears to rest about the Chavista’s inability to vaccinate the population against Covid. She announced that Venezuela will be buying 12 million doses of Abdala vaccine. Yes, it’s one of the five Cuban vaccines that hasn’t been certified by anybody and there is no evidence of quality or safety. She also didn’t mention anything about how they would pay for the vaccines nor when they might expect delivery of the shipments. Another example of the Chavistas constantly talking about everything they are going to do and not what they are doing or have done. No matter how bad it is now due to what they are doing and have already done…” It’s going to be great!”

 It’s official…there are “Coyote Travel Agencies” that will get a Venezuelan across the southern border of the US for $3,000.

 Now we continue with “Just The Basics” from Venezuela : Down The Rabbit Hole …

 …. Diminished expectations are the order of the day. With 45% of the country reporting frequent days without power various organizations are now asking for power at least a few hours a day on the weekends. The metals processing sector won’t return to normal either. It relies on nodes which once they are without power for a number of hours are effectively dead. And if you thought it couldn’t get any worse, the Tuy pumping system, which supplies water to a large portion of Caracas, would require about a third of the available power to restart since the power supply became so degraded.That leads us to the other part of the power crisis, the water crisis.

 There is a reason that beginning with the first civilizations in Mesopotamia, at the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, civilization has clustered around rivers and spread from there. Access to fresh water is essential to survival. Chavismo seems to have lost sight of this basic fact. In 1998, just before the election of Chavez, approximately 80% of Venezuelans had regular access to fresh water.Since the Chavistas took the reins that access has dropped to about thirty percent and could be even lower.

 Under Chavismo issues with water are nothing new. In recent years there have been thousands of protests annually in various communities and neighborhoods for lack of water although it must be said it’s hard to distinguish them from the lack of power protests. It’s common to encounter roads barricaded in protest, tires burning,etc. Typically the government sends in some water trucks and things calm down… for a while…until next time. Caracas is the perfect example of the problem.

 Although in close proximity to the coast Caracas sits well above sea level (900 meters) requiring it’s water supply to be pumped uphill to a significantly higher altitude for much of the city. When the power went out the Tuy pumping system went down leaving much of the city, millions of people, without water.

 Common scenes included people bathing in flooded potholes after a rain and collecting water from sewer drains that flow into the Guaire river. As bad as it is using water from these drains it gets worse when these drains dry up and the waste backs up adding to the already dangerous health situation. People everywhere can be seen carrying buckets, large water bottles, or whatever containers they have. Everybody is going out looking for water or carrying it back if they are lucky enough to find any.

 Like many other things in Venezuela under Chavismo the military has been tasked with water distribution. Those who can afford it pay $200 for a 5,000 liter water truck to fill their tank (those that actually have a tank). If you don’t have the $200 (at the time of the ‘crisis’ the minimum wage was about $7 a month and now stands at about $2 a month) you are at the mercy of the military as to who receives the coveted deliveries. If you are a well connected,loyal Chavista you get priority. If not..well…

 The El Avila National Park has also been a victim. It’s becoming an ecological disaster as people use it’s mountain streams for laundry,bathing, and toilets.

 As if experiencing a fire wasn’t bad enough, fire fighters can’t put out fires without water so many have to watch their hopes and dreams go up in flames when the damage could have been minimized with access to water.

 Years ago, with the water distribution system failing country-wide, the government said it was a priority to meet the UN Millennium Developmental Goals so things weren’t good even under normal circumstances. The deadline was 2015 and people are still waiting.In 2018 79% of hospitals reported irregular water service. Now things are infinitely worse. The government water utility, Hidrocapital, sometimes cuts service in some areas for 48 hours.

 With the Tuy pumping system and others not able to come back online to full capacity due to operating energy consumption as well as the threat of grid collapse the problem has never really been solved. But not to worry folks! Maduro announced that the government will supply all the water needed utilizing tanker trucks. Aside from the fact that the government can’t even keep a fleet of buses running (only one out of ten currently in operation) tanker trucks “ain’t gonna’ cut it.” If you do the relatively simple math, in order to equal the output of the Tuy system the government would need to deliver three tanker trucks every second! Caracas needs 20,000 liters of water per second. It was down to 13,000 liters per second before the blackout/water out. What it is today is anybody’s guess (uhh… about zero?)

 Summary : Each year since Maduro took office he has proclaimed the coming year as the “Bolivarian Revolution’s) version of The Great Leap Forward and productivity and economic stability were on the way.Each year conditions worsen and, while lamenting that it’s all the fault of the usual suspects,he’s assured the people that “The Revolution” would provide prosperity and security for all. (note: when they can’t point to any prosperity or security they provide they focus on dignity) The constant barrage of days furloughed and workdays shortened makes increasing productivity a bit difficult. The Chavistas don’t seem to connect the dots between work and productivity. There was plenty of advanced warning on both the power and water situations. The government did nothing. Here we go again with our broken record. This situation was not caused by outside influences. It is not the result of war. It is not the result of a natural disaster. It is a man made disaster. A Chavista made disaster.

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