I always wonder when I learn about an academic, particular one trained in hard sciences, supports and is part of the disorder and disarray associated with the Chavez Government. Case in point is Francisco Garces (above), the current Minister of Transportation and former President of the seismology foundation Funvisis. I mean, Dr. Garces finished his Ph.D. in France in 2008 in something like methods for identifying damages in structures by measuring their vibrational modes.
Thus, I can understand Dr. Garces accepting to be Head of Funvisis, right up his ally, because somehow he supports Chavez or the principles of his revolution. In fact, he did a fairly credible job in Funvisis, had to appear in public during the earthquakes in the last two years and explained things well.More importantly, he was there, showing his face.
But since Dr. Garces not only comes from a world where things are structured, but his own “boss” Carlos Genatios left the Chavez administration disappointed at what he found: What could possibly prompt Dr. Garces to accept his new position, where he has looked like a fool (I mean, do you really have to put on that orange hat, well, at least it is not red, no?). Because Dr. Garces is trying to defend the result of corruption in the Metro (subway) system that he is in charge of. He knows, and his French buddies at the local Embassy I am sure have told him so, that the maintenance contract won by the Spanish should have never been awarded. But Dr. Garces has said nothing about it in order to “defend” the Chavez revolution.
I think he is going about it backwards. If he really is aligned with this sorry revolution, he should tell Chavez that he will denounce those responsible and go do it. And if Chavez says no, then Dr. Garces should simply resign. It is the only honest option.
While I am no Civil Engineer, Dr. Garces is, you can’t help but wonder about the most recent problem Dr. Garces is facing, when the Metro to Los Teques was halted last week, because a retention wall gave way and the landslide blocked the path of the train. This Metro line is less than three years old. I would think that building a retaining wall like that requires studying the terrain, the topology and the seismics of the site and building and anchoring a retaining wall that would last decades and that the probability that it would fall should be simply very small. I am sure they build something two or three times larger than what is really needed.
But the damn wall collapsed! No subway for four days, at least! This is simply unacceptable.
But so far Dr. Garces has said nothing about this. I hope he does. Because if he tries to cover it up, he will be doing a disfavor to the revolution and to himself. As long as impunity rules and nothing gets investigated, corruption, shoddy work and incompetence will rule and people like Dr. Garces will never be able to do a credible job. The corrupt and incompetent and unethical will continue ruling at the expense of those that should be running things.
In my mind, Dr. Garces would be better off in Funvisis, or better yet, developing his scientific career, which never got off the ground.
The way he is acting, he is just wasting his time and ruining his reputation.