If anyone wanted proof of the absolute idiocy of the Venezuelan Government, today’s press conference by once-considered-serious Ali Rodriguez Araque, showed why the country is falling apart under the mismanagement of the Chavez administration.
As the country’s electrical infrastructure falls apart and Chavez bars the national electric company Corpoelec from raising electric rates, after seven years of a tariff freeze, Rodriguez Araque proudly announced that any Government institution that does not pay its electric service will have its electricity shut off. You see, Government entities, from Ministries to institutes owe Corpolec some four billion Bolivars, roughly US$ 930 million at the “new” and “unified” official rate, who knows what at the unspeakable green lettuce rate.
And therein lies the tragedy of this non-Government: Nobody is in charge, despite Chavez controlling all powers, each Minister, Head of Institute, Director or whatever, is his all-powerful Dictator of his own fiefdom, accountable to nobody. So, why pay electric bills? A penny saved is a penny earned…and to hell with the future of the country or it proper functioning.
Rodriguez himself notes than when he sends his employees to cut off power, his own people are jailed by the mini-Chavez’ in charge of the various institutions that fail to pay their electric bills month after month!
He is nobody in a Government of lots of little somebodies…
The mess is so huge that Rodriguez said that the revenues of Corpoelec, the revenues, from all the electricity that it sold in 2010, was only sufficient to cover half of the payroll of Corpoelec. Everything else, like so many other subsidies and distortions, has to be supplied by the central Government.
No wonder the electric network is such a mess, we should blame El Niño, but El Niño Hugo Chavez, the same one that unilaterally overrides studies that electric rates need to be increased or sends the victims of the floods to tents that can barely hold their own in a gust of wind.
But the bigger fool is Rodriguez, considered the most capable Minister in the first few years of the Chavez administration. He began the destruction of PDVSA under Chavez’ orders firing 20,000 workers in 2003, including all of the key technical personnel, allowed himself to be displaced from Finance by the incompetent Giordani and now attempts to do the impossible in trying to prop up the electrical power network, with no money.
Thus, the one time guerrilla fighter has now become a sorry pawn of Chavez’ delirium, quietly following orders and barking his own that nobody will follow.
He will not even have to turn off the lights, they will go off on their own.