No Love For Teachers

 We’ll get to our Down The Rabbit Hole segment in a minute but first we have Caracas Chronicles reporting that teachers are protesting for better salaries. And the government’s response is quintessential Chavista…”Teachers are shapers of love.” Uhh, OK…but what about the money? I’ve always liked the saying “Don’t tell me you love me …show me.” If teachers are “shapers of love” shouldn’t you show them a little love?

 The salaries the teachers are protesting are about $13 a month…not an hour…not a day …A MONTH. To put it in perspective, the next closest teacher’s salary in Latin America is in Cuba where they make a paltry $250 a month, a relative fortune to a Venezuelan teacher. The top two Latin American countries for teacher’s salaries are Chile with $3,235 a month and Panama at $2,200. $13 a month…What, no love for teachers?

 Peoples World reports another group of people are upset, the Communist Party of Venezuela. They are calling for an investigation into the murder of a party member that was the subject of threats by state security officials. According to Maduro, the Communist Party is “trying to divide the revolutionary movement.” So… does that mean it’s OK to murder them?

 Then we have Telesur (government media) reporting that Venezuela has deployed the army (FANB) to the border areas with Colombia. We’ve told you recently about the clashes between FARC dissidents and ELN guerillas fighting over trafficking routes etc. with the citizens caught in the crossfire. The Maduro regime says they’re dispatching the army to fight the terrorist group,TANCOL, and to guarantee Venezuelan sovereignty. No mention was made of FARC,ELN, nor the citizens being killed.

 We also have Telesur reporting that we have another incident of “sabotage”… another “attack by right-wing terrorists” intent on bringing down the “glorious revolution.” That sounds a lot more interesting than the government electric company’s report that an electric tower fell down.

 And up here in the US we have the Daily Caller reporting the Representative Hakeem Jeffries had an Ooops! moment where he said that the Dem’s election reform bill was inspired by Hugo Chavez.

 And in other salary protest news we have Marco Press reporting that retired healthcare workers are protesting their pensions of 7 bolivares a month which equates to about $1.45. The government responded to the buck .45 pension by adding a one time bonus of an additional 3 bolivares. What is that? …another 75 cents for the month?

 And to follow up on our reporting of Venezuela creeping out of hyperinflation we have Prensa Latina reporting that while Venezuela is technically out of hyperinflation Venezuelans are still digging in the trash for food.

 OK, time to go Down The Rabbit Hole…

 During the Chavez and Maduro years there were several times of crisis where major blackouts occurred and power rationing was put into effect.The primary reason for these blackouts was drought causing dangerously low water levels, primarily at the Guri dam which provides the majority of the country’s electric power.During these times the government would point to the Tacoma dam project (yes, one of those zero kilowatt gems) as the solution. Then the rains would return and everybody would forget about the drought. It was (and is) also a favorite of the Chavistas to blame the blackouts on sabotage by right-wing terrorists, CIA plots to bring down “the revolution” etc.

 In 2013 and again in 2016 the government was warned about the deficiencies in the power grid and concern over the lack of maintenance. Their willingness to address the issue was typified by their response to union leader,Elio Palacios’s, warning in 2018 that a crisis level event was imminent.They threw him in jail.

 Then came March,2019. On March 7th the power went out in Caracas. No major concern,right? As if on cue the power returned after an hour or two. Life in the third world,right? Then the lights went out…again…and they stayed out. 23 of 25 states were without power. The blackout lasted five days in Caracas, longer in some areas, and in places the loss of power was almost indefinite.A week later another less intense but still far-reaching blackout occurred lasting a couple of days. That was followed up by a one day blackout in most of the country.

 In a country already reeling from the most disastrous economy in it’s history and most think in the history of the western hemisphere the effects were catastrophic. The current food crisis, unlike the 2014 crisis where there simply wasn’t food on the shelves (although many areas still suffer shortages),is that there wasn’t (and isn’t) anything affordable to most people. Hyperinflation and devaluation have forced the average Venezuelan to survive on 700 calories a day.More on that later. The transportation sector had collapsed along with the oil industry (gasoline shortages), healthcare,education, and others. Now no power. As bad as it is having to dig through garbage to survive now they had to do it in the dark!

 More tomorrow….

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