Friday, October 24, 2008

Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez Shows Us the Folly of Obama’s Way

Venezuela, an OPEC member and a major producer of oil is now suffering power blackouts, some of them hitting most heavily neighbourhoods that are Hugo Chavez electoral strongholds. According to Yahoo News, “The OPEC nation has suffered three nationwide blackouts this year, and chronic power shortages have sparked protests from the western Andean highlands to San Felix, a city of mostly poor industrial workers in the sweltering south.”

Substandard electrical service is now a leading national concern in Venezuela. Although there are government projects to expand electrical production in Venezuela, they are building annually only about a third of what is required to meet Venezuela’s expanding energy needs.

For years Venezuela has neglected the maintenance, development and expansion of its electrical grid. The ascendance of anti capitalist rhetoric to the level of substantive measures under the regime of Hugo Chavez has put a chill on investor’s plans to invest in oil rich Venezuela.

The very regions targeted by Chavez for ambitious education and medical assistance programs are now finding their lives blighted by lack of electricity. The Yahoo News article cites the example of an elderly woman , blind and surviving on a pacemaker who lacks even an electric fan to help her through hot and humid nights.

In a comic episode of poetic justice, the article tells a story of a legislator who was not allowed to present the energy complaints of her constituents in the impoverished city of San Felix.

“Pastora Medina, a legislator representing San Felix and nearby cities suffering chronic power problems, this month tried to bring the issue up in the national Congress in Caracas, but the legislature’s leadership refused to let her speak.

Several hours later, as the legislature discussed a South American integration plan created by Chavez, Congress itself lost power for around 10 minutes.

Click here to read entire article

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