Venezuelan rainy musings

December 3, 2010

With the tragedy of the rains flooding Venezuela, it would be improper to suggest responsibility for the many horrific scenes we are witnessing today. Natural phenomena can’t be predicted, you just need to have the best contingency plan possible just in case.

But the citizens of Vargas State can definetely complain. Eleven years ago they lived through exactly the same thing and nothing much has changed in that state. Remarkably Vargas is a very pro-Chavez state, although by now Chavez’ lead in that state has been cut significantly, with PSUV losing 16% of the vote in the recent elections.

Vargas could have been a showcase for the revolution if Chavez had wanted it to be after the tragic floods of 2000. It was just a matter of deciding it.

Let’s suppose the subsidy for gasoline had been cut in half given the national emergency in 2000. That means that PDVSA would have received some US$ 55 billlion in additional revenue. Assume also, that you let PDVSA keep half of that for its projects. You are left with US$27.5 billion. Further assume that you gave each state its fair share, Vargas would have received around one billion US dollars. Assume further that you would have used this money to build safe housing on safe ground. If each house cost US$ 25,000, you could have built 40,000 housing units during this time.

Well, estimates are that Vargas has around 300,000 inhabitants. At an average of four people per home, you could have relocated half the population of that state.

Of course, the numbers are more complicated than that, you also need infrastructure to protect the housing from flooding, roads and the like, but when you consider how much has been spent in foreign aid to Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia and the like, how much has been spent on weapons and how much has been wasted on graft, there should have been plenty of money for this.

Sadly, Corpovargas never really got off the ground, experts were never called in and Chief Economist Hugo has been more interested in rifles and his glory than anything else.

Yes, something could have been done, but nothing is being done even today…

25 Responses to “Venezuelan rainy musings”

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  2. A_Antonio Says:

    When we think this subject have some limits, He excesses them.

    Now the solution to the house problems and the raining disaster is change the limits of Avila’s Park and built there houses and apartments.

    Please!!!, I hope this is only another crazy idea that will never build nothing, pour Caracas!!!, Goodbye Avila’s Park.

  3. concerned Says:

    The ones foolish enough to think chavez brought the rains to end the drought by his cuban aided cloud seeding, are gullible enough to believe he has caused the floods.

  4. concerned Says:

    From Veneconomy:

    “(04/12/2010 10:06:58 p.m.) In the meantime, his family has 17 ranches,
    10 Hummer vehicles, five summer houses and $265 million, among other assets. In addition, DEA reports from 2008 indicate they have detected five banking accounts in American financial institutions belonging to Hugo Chávez’ brothers and mother amounting to $140 million.”

    And he has the nerve to request donations or expropriate large landholdings?????

  5. A_Antonio Says:

    The rain tempo in Venezuela is too depressing, what a tragedy!.

    What about a post with an orchid?, to soft this tragic times.

  6. metodex Says:

    true that MO, specially when the very government says that private organizations that want to help are useless and then they confiscate their supplies (like what happened to leopoldo lopez)

  7. m_astera Says:

    The banality of evil.

  8. Roger Says:

    As much as I would like to dump all this on Chavezimo, I think the problem is deeper that that. Colombia has even worse flooding
    and no one seems to care either. In both countries most press is still politics as usual! In LatAm press we see nothing kinda like hurricanes that swing south of Brownsville and crash into this place on the map called Mexico what ever that is! (sic) Also, you would think that other LatAm countries would be bringing in relief supplies and helping in anyway they can especialy if the have been treated to malatins and such in the past. The generosity of Chavez seems to be a one way street or there are some basic cultural issues that need to be addressed by OAS, Mercursor, Alba and such. Except perhaps Brazil, no country in the region can deal with day to day problems much less major disasters. (end of rant)

  9. David Says:

    Can you really expect someone who has pillaged the country such as this Bovivarian Goverment to do anything for Venezuela?

  10. moctavio Says:

    Torres: i think that what happened in 1999 did require a huge effort by the Government given the seriousness of the floods, I know what you are saying, but when a natural tragedy of such oroprtions takes place only the Government has the capability of aiding people.

  11. Roy Says:

    Believe it or not, even Cuba has far better systems of Civil Defense than Venezuela. I was working there (long story) many years ago when a hurricane was threatening Havana. In the end, it missed us, “Gracias a Dios” (the damage to the city would have been horrific). However, in the days leading up its arrival, I was favorably impressed with Government’s measures to prepare for it and to prepare the population for it. The day the hurricane arrived, areas in the city within a few city blocks of the coast were evacuated (including yours truly). There was a plan in place to do so, and it was executed in an orderly manner.

    Now I will grant that Cuba, of course, has experience with hurricanes, and Venezuela does not. However, I don’t see even a fraction of the basic preparedness and competence in these matters here in Venezuela that I observed in Cuba.

    My point? We can’t even say that the lack of preparedness and competence in civil defense is the fault of Socialism or Communism. We can only lay the fault directly on Chavez and the mediocrity of Chavismo in general.

  12. Bieler-Romero Says:

    My wife was part of the hydrologists from UCV (IMF) who after December 1999 did a tremendous effort to design all hydraulics structures needed in Vargas to prevent another catastrophe of the same magnitude.

    Resources from the World Bank were granted for these projects, with the commitment that the Bolivarian Government will provide funds to complete the second part of the project.

    As it was expected, when the sky cleared and the rains stopped, the government did not deliver and the projects stopped. Few of the damns built did not follow design, and as consequence, it has been proven that they did not serve their purpose.

    To make long story short, she now works developing hydro dynamic software implementing some of the algorithms developed in years of research (most of them at UCV) and I design highways. We both had no other choice but to leave the country we once dreamed about. Another success story brought to you by the Bolivarian Revolution…

  13. RWG Says:

    En Espanol,
    Chávez está saqueando Venezuela y dar sólo a sus partidarios.
    Es hora de que Venezuela se despierte.

    Desde Vargas ya estaba destruido, no tenía necesidad de tocarlo. Trabajo Chávez se hizo.

    Vargas todavía cree en Chávez promete.

  14. RWG Says:

    Chavez is pillaging Venezuela.

    Definition of Pillage- looted; wrongfully emptied or stripped of anything of value; To loot or plunder by force.

    Since Vargas was already destroyed, he did not need to touch it. Chavez job was done.

    Vargas still believes in Chavez promises.

  15. Fred Says:

    Many, or most, public emplouees have not yet been paid their Christmas bonuses. So there’s no money they can donate.

    Most private enterprises have already paid said bonuses.

  16. Ira Says:

    Hey, Miguel. How come you missed this quote that I just saw on Bloomberg:

    “It would be nice for people to share some of their yearend bonuses as a donation and to do volunteer work,” Chavez said, in reference to aid efforts. “We need to pull out all of the love for our people who have been abandoned by capitalism during 100 years.”

    Is the man ever capable of opening his mouth without putting his foot in it?

    An especially poignant quote for me considering my comments on U.S. Navy assistance in January 2000.

  17. Ira Says:


    “That was when my hate FOR Chavez began.”

  18. Ira Says:

    I used to have an apartment in Macuto, right across from the water next to the hotel and restaurant Las Quinces Letras. (Anyone remember this place, and did I spell it right? Mi espanol es horible.)

    It was rented for me by Santa Teresa rum, because I was doing some work for them in the states, and I heard it was totally covered by the mudslides. I was in New York and followed the news of the tragedy closely, and that was when my hate from Chavez began:

    Instead of letting the U.S. Navy continue providing assistance–which is what the people needed and were crying for–Chavez kicked them up, accusing them of spying.

    So how in the world Vargas ever became a haven for Chavismo is beyond anything I can comprehend.

  19. Alek Boyd Says:

    What you wrote is conditional on the regime having done things they didn’t. But let us take the argument to things that actually happened Miguel, for instance you wrote about $1 billion allocated to rebuild Vargas:

    What does the regime has to show for for that billion?

    What about the €30 million donated by the EU, how many houses were built with that?

  20. Kepler Says:

    I actually think what Miguel wrote is more than timely. Of course, Chavista thugs are not going to do anything about that. I told Miguel he should translate this into Spanish or I could do it over the weekend and then distribute. Why?
    Because the vast majority of Venezuelans are used to eating rubbish and think that’s the way it is. They do not see further and have never been taught to think further.
    I make this kind of “musings” with some people who unlike me or most people here have never had the opportunity to be abroad, to find out about real life in developed or really developing countries and so on.

    Of course, the problem with this kind of musings is that they should be written in Spanish and we write very little in Spanish.

    Chavistas are mostly busy stealing and trying to supress other people. Unfortunatelly, a lot of our politicians, even if much better, are just bad: they would at most know they should not steal so much, they could think about buying the fancy French system for traffic control or importing some
    material to build up a playing ground for children. In the best case scenario, they also know how to break pavements and build some roads.
    We need to let people think about other possibilities.

    Please, try to imagine the kind of inspiration the average Venezuelan is getting in his daily life. At most he gets some reading from self-help books (no wonder they are so popular in Venezuela). There is no concrete thinking about what we can do with Venezuela. If we start musing, some people may start doing that as well and from that more can come.

  21. torres Says:

    I see, rather than deciding how the government should (have) spent oil money, the greater problem being in thinking that it should be the government doing the deciding, at all. Government spending of oil money is regressive. Governments should only be deciding how to spend taxation money.

  22. Douglas Says:

    Unfortunately in the present time Charly is a realist…..

  23. Charly Says:

    Good analysis but a lot of assumptions, if this, if that, if the other, etc. The main assumption is missing, that the robolucionarios would have found a way to put that extra money in their pockets. QED. At the end of the day, it might be better that the Venezuelan get a free ride on their cheap gas. Cynic or realist?

    • Gabriel Says:

      if you want your hair to look thicker, you could get a few layres. or you could get a bob that is shoulder length. (trust me the modern bobs are cute, if my hair was long enough, i’d get one lol) with a bob, bangs that barely cover your eyes are a good way to draw attention to them without the hair cut looking to matronly. since you have pale skin, i suggest either a caramel or honey colored highlights and or a reddish color, this will warm your complexion. if you get them be sure it’s the thin ones, not the chunks.

  24. A_Antonio Says:

    And Chavez says: “This is all responsibility of the capitalism”.

    Maybe, we lived in capitalism in the last eleven years, not in Chavez’s Regime.

    And this is all I have to say about that…

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