Lying “Niño” by Teodoro Petkoff

February 18, 2010

(Still on vacation, so I translated Petkoff’s editorial on Tal Cual for your enjoyment, in case you missed it)

If we were to follow what Chacumbele says, we would say that “El Niño” has it in for us. If not, how do you explain that in all South American countries on the Pacific there are no blackouts  and here we have them all the time?  According to our eminent conductor, these are the evils of the little kid. It’s very strange, because Colombia, for example, which receives its full impact, is offering to sell electricity to us and some years ago, we used to sell to Colombia, which has caught up with us. “The  Niño”, go figure out why they have christened in such a tender way a natural phenomenon that behaves so badly, is a cold current flowing from the Antarctic to the north, all along the Pacific coast and that when it gets into warmer waters causes serious climate disruption. Since El Niño is on the loose, all over South America  anomalous natural phenomena are occurring of an intensity greater than ever before.

Catastrophic floods and brutal droughts alternate, even in neighboring countries.

But something does not fit in the  Chacumbele’s alibi . In fact, struck by the fact that none of the countries directly affected by El Niño, there is an electricity crisis and we have one here. The explanation can not be, then, the one  Chacumbele is trying to sell us so hard.

That the summer is being particularly harsh and that drought is strongly punishing the headwaters of major rivers Guyana, nobody can deny.

But why, if in 2001 the summer drought was worse than this time and the water level dropped to the fatal Guri 240 meters above sea level, there were no power shortages? It is obvious then that the national electricity system had an installed capacity of generating electricity  that allowed him to compensate for the reduced flow of electricity from Guri. The country was living off  of what previous governments had left him.
Chacumbele also argues, in a mixture of his proverbial lies with truths, that demand has grown and that supply  is not enough.

Columbus (Translator Note: Venezuelan expression for obvious). But did the illuminated foreman stopped to consider the fact that all neighboring countries  also had increased demand and yet the offer is sufficient? He scored on his own goal post without shoes on.

In neighboring countries, where El Niño strikes with more fury than here and where demand has also been growing, governments took care of making the necessary investments to increase electricity generation to the beat of that same growth.

Is it so hard to understand this? Here, simply, “El Niño” who governs us, as destructive as his namesake, did not do his homework and flunked. The funniest thing that has happened recently in this field is that the “tough guy” Jaua rejected the Colombian supply of electrical power, as if it were an insult. We have next to us a country that can provide some kilowatts and the government refuse it,  but he brings some Cuban technicians who are on the subject of electric power is in the Stone Age, to advise us. Worse than a bad government is a bad one that is stubborn and stubborn and which, on top of it, claims to be socialist.

27 Responses to “Lying “Niño” by Teodoro Petkoff”

  1. moctavio Says:

    It could easily be grwon here, it is an orchid.

  2. m_astera Says:

    Not one of the country’s major problems, but:

    I have yet to find real vanilla extract in the stores on Margarita. Rows and rows of artificial vanilla, but none of the real.

    What’s with that?

    I have friends bring the real stuff from the US or elsewhere in the Caribbean.

    Interesting about it being a sedative. Never heard that before.

  3. speed Gibson Says:

    Botox Evita…. I love it…the more things change the more they stay the same

  4. deananash Says:

    Substitute Venezuela (pre-Chavez) for South Korea and Venezuela (all-Chavez, all-the-time) for North Korea and this picture says it all.

  5. Juancho Says:

    Per the Falklands debacle with England, what this showed is what every intelligence agency understands about Latin American “militaries” – that they are not military forces at all, not in the usualy use of the term, as they never fight wars other then civil conflicts.

    Virtually all Latin American militaries lack the infrastructure, leadership, resolve, expertise, experience, funding and cold aggression to ever carry out an actual campaign in another country. That’s why the intelligence community considers Chavez’ threats to wage any kind of foreign military operations as mere sabre rattling and the purest bunk.

    Imgaine our military invading Columbia, and what the “soldiers” would say. Invade? Say what? And get shot at? Me? And miss the Leones game? And hey, where’s my frickin’ arrepa and mi Malta? And this business about hard core Cuban military men fighting to the death? You’ll never see it so long as you live. They fold in one minute because fundamentally, they are all largely a band of cowards (Cuban sport coaches and medicos and other civic contributors are often first rate, however).

    Latin militaries are strictly civic and poitical police forces whose loyalties go to who pays them and offers them the most power and influence. They might take over a government, but not for the stated reason of “fixing” things, but because they will gain more power and influence through the coup. Venezuela military men want to wield guns and put down student protests and march in parades and wear sashes and medals and decorations and fancy uniforms – but an actual war? Por favor, chamo.

    To get an idea about just how much imigination Latin militaries are built on, consider all the medals the Generals wear on their uniforms. What do yo think all those decorations are for? What do they represent in terms of heroic duty to country? It’s all show and adorno. It’s nothing at all – bullsiht from start to finish. That’s what we’re up against here – an entire regime and system that is institutionalized bullshit, saying one thing and doing the exact opposite. No sane foreign power believes a single word Chavez says. The fact that half of our country hangs on his every word betgrays the depth of the problem. It’s like the crazy Gringos reelecting Bush. It’s insanity, but try and stop it.


  6. Gringo Says:

    Actually Speed, a number of the comments illustrate anything but “perpetual stupidity.” And I quote.

    We have a lot of problems here, with politics and the economy and things that have nothing to do with the Falklands,” argued a young man who said his name was Pablo.
    “Our politicians are working to have this issue in the newspapers as a distraction, so our people don’t think about other more important things.”

    Twenty eight years ago, even though by then most Argentines were fed up with the junta, Argentines lined up en masse to support the invasion of the Falklands. “Las Malvinas son Argentinas,” etc. After a generation of democratic rule, a substantial proportion- not all- of Argentines no longer fall for that. A lot of Argentines HAVE learned.

  7. speed Gibson Says:

    off subject but still relevant to S American silliness

    when will they ever learn? the last 3 paragraphs are telling indeed…..Argentina is like the Palestinian/Israel conflict….perpetual stupidity

  8. HalfEmpty Says:

    I learned that vanilla extract liquid in a dish will absorb the undesirable odors

    Good stuff dat. Also makes a fine sedative in a pinch, which is why I buy it in industrial quantities.

  9. Martin Says:

    Look, the Pacific El Nino (and I assume that’s the same one Chavez is referring to) has only been around a few months, maybe six at most. In this part of the world (the western US) it usually brings more precipitation, not less. But for the last two or three years previously there has been a La Nina, the opposite, where the ocean cools, and we get less rain. There is also a rough correlation with the Atlantic hurricane season – more intense with La Nina (remember Katrina) and far less in the fall of last year, as the shift began. But the water crisis in Venezuela seems a lot older than just a few months. Something is not quite correlating here; not that I’m denying there is a water crisis in Venezuela, just that its cause may not be as simplistically stated.

  10. Bill Simpson of Slidell USA Says:

    I’m no expert on electricity (or anything else) but, as I recall, a few years ago when Enron (a now bankrupt accounting fraud) was running their scam in California, by telling the other power companies that electric demand had exceeded supply (a lie, as it later turned out) and that they needed to begin rolling blackouts, the blackouts only lasted for 30 minutes in any area. In a warm climate like Venezuela, anything over an hour seems way too long.
    I can share something that I learned from Hurricane Katrina, which some of you may find of use during extended power outages. Hopefully, they won’t get too long, but who knows. Here is what I do during the hurricane season.
    I put several old plastic containers of ice in the freezer compartment. Keep the freezer stuffed with food or ice, not AIR. This will delay the thawing of frozen items. If you know when the power will be shut off, you can put a couple of them into the refrigerated compartment to delay everything from getting hot in there when the power is off. The most important thing, by far, is DO NOT OPEN THE DOORS WHILE THE POWER IS OFF. Once you let that hot, humid air in, you had better hope that the power comes back on within the next 6 hours. Frost free refrigerators have a heating cycle that uses hot wires to evaporate the ice that forms on the cooling coils inside the unit. You don’t know if the heater may have just gone off. If it did, and you open the door, it will get hot inside the unit very fast, because you just let a lot more heat inside. If power failures become frequent, keep your refrigerator turned to as cold a setting as you can. The colder it is in there when the power fails, the longer it remains cold enough to prevent bacteria growth.
    If you have a total grid failure and can find frozen carbon dioxide, it will last for nearly two days. I never had any, but it was about 20 hours after Katrina cut the power before I could hear water beginning to drip inside my sister’s unit. Two days after the power went off, I opened it. It still hadn’t quite reached room temperature, but I had to throw everything out of two refrigerators in the house. They were very lucky that I did, because the power was off for two weeks. I learned that vanilla extract liquid in a dish will absorb the undesirable odors that will remain inside a defrosted refrigerator that had spoiled food in it, even after a complete cleaning.
    If it is a humid 37 degrees C, and you have a choice between electricity or hot water to take a shower from a natural gas water heater, take the hot water. After the second day, you get a little funky and cold well water is COLD. As least I got to get a good look at the Milky Way, since the sky in Southern Louisiana was pitch black.
    I hope some of the above helps. Hopefully, you won’t need it, and it will begin to rain down there soon. Good luck.

  11. Floyd Looney Says:

    Privatizing it will make electricity more plentiful for sure, if they are given the freedom to operate as well.

    Meanwhile a book I ordered is sitting in a post office while the postmaster scratches his head about why the last number of the zip code is a 1 instead of a 0. A simple google search would show WHERE I live. They have no incentive to do a better job. Next time, I think I’ll use UPS- a private company.

  12. Bois Says:

    bjohns15 – you’re probably right. Sites from Venezuela are loading normally.

  13. deananash Says:

    Venezuela has had a reliable power supply in Caracas for a long, long time. Oh yeah, that was when Electricidad de Caracas was a private company, operating to MAKE A PROFIT (the horror!) Of course, the ONLY way for a private company to make a profit is by actually producing something that people want to buy, um, something like ELECTRICITY.

    Any fool, well, not ANY fool, but most fools and the rest of us KNEW that when Chavez expropriated the untilities that things would end up like this.

  14. Deanna Says:

    Kepler, of course Chavez would condemn the military coup in Niger, just as he condemned the one in Honduras, talking through his hat about supporting the legitimately-elected president, etc. etc. because he doesn’t want Venezuelans to get ideas about doing the same thing. He knows that he’ll be the next target!!!

  15. Eric Lavoie Says:

    And a samll detail i found hilarious, the last 2 paragraph says:

    “Meanwhile, a poll done in December said that Venezuelans don’t buy Chavez’s explanation that El Nino has caused the electricity shortages.

    Eighty per cent of Venezuelans say poor performance by the Chavez government is the cause and 30 per cent blame the president personally.”

    Like anything else Chavez is Mr Teflon, the stroy is allways it’s the people around him, he does no wrong. Based on this, Chavez will just roll a few heads and escape any retribution.

  16. Eric Lavoie Says:

    i find it so funny how the NYTimes article influences so many, this guy did a bad rewrite of it, he hits all the same points, no wonder journalists get no respect.

    It took them years to figure this out, if he only they had informed themselves.

  17. An Interested Observer Says:

    I followed the link from RWG (by the way, the accents screw it up, had to navigate a bit – try searching if the title doesn’t appear on the left, cause it’s interesting), but was really intrigued to see the Harry’s Place motto:

    “Liberty, if it means anything, is the right to tell people what they don’t want to hear.”

  18. RWG Says:

    Here is a link to a video of a past Chavez supporter who has changed his mind. No electricity, water, and bad crime have overcome Chavez’ promises.

  19. Kepler Says:


    No surprise Hugo the First has condemned the coup.

  20. Megaescualidus Says:

    Electricity rationing is being used as a political weapon, which is why Tachira has been pummeled with it mercilessly.

  21. island canuck Says:

    An OT item.

    Niger president seized in military coup

    “Tandja drew criticism and sanctions after dissolving parliament and orchestrating a constitutional reform in 2009 that gave him added powers and extended his term beyond his second five-year mandate, which expired in December.

    The reform removed most checks on his authority, abolished term limits, and gave him an initial three more years in power without an election. Tandja said he needed extra time to complete large-scale investment projects.”

    Ha, Ha, Ha. Just too funny for words. At least the army there has some balls.

  22. island canuck Says:

    Last night we had a 2 hour rationing of electricity here in our area of Margarita.

    During the last 18 days Margarita has been VERY busy, First was the “Series del Caribe” baseball tournament & last week was Carnaval.

    During all that time we only had 1 blackout – last Monday morning at 1.30 AM. Last night was from 6.30 to 8.30. The Sol de Margarita in it’s Thursday morning paper talked about the exodus of some 20,000 tourists back to the mainland.

    Now if for 18 days we didn’t need a blackout with 10’s of thousands of extra people on the Island why in hell did we need a blackout for 2 hours last night?? Margarita is mostly self sufficient in electricity with a new generator started last week.

    I have a feeling that the rationing is a political thing rather than a necessity. Like everything he does Chavez is starting us off with a little bit here & a little bit there preparing us for the big shutdown to come in late March or early April.

    It’s really pissing me off. If there is sufficient supply in Margarita leave the damn lights on!

  23. Megaescualidus Says:

    Hugo Rafael is not a “wanna be dictator”. He IS a dictator. There’s no other way of calling him. When are people going to realize that?

  24. Paul Says:

    Maybe a little off topic but……All wanna be dictators follow the exact steps taken by Chavez, i.e. removing term limits, censoring media, etc. The below article showing today’s activity in Niger mirror recent events in Honduras….interesting to note that a country with a 70% illiteracy rate still knows when enough is enough. Wake up Venezuela!!!!!

  25. bjohns15 Says:

    I dunno, I think wordpress (what this blog is powered by) was down for a while worldwide.

  26. Bois Says:

    I have notice over the last few days, any blog or website from Venezuela is very slow loading, sometimes so slow it times out. I thought it was my connection or computer, not the case.

    Example, I can opened up 5-6 tabs with US based websites that load immediately before this blog loads.

    Is anyone else experiencing this??

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