As infrastructure deteriorates in Venezuela, even sports suffers

January 14, 2011

In a new low for the revolution, the Tour of Tachira State or “Vuelta al Tachira” as it is known, had its first stage canceled due to problems with the infrastructure, i.e. the roads were so bad that after a while cyclists themselves decided they had to stop.(Even the invited Cuban cyclists decided to withdraw, apparently the roads were wosre than those in Cuba) After barely 15 minutes of the race, they all decided they had had enough danger as it was.

This all happened in San Fernando de Apure, a neighboring State to Tachira where the race was slated to begin. The race has continued after the first day mishap, as the infrastructure deterioration now has ahd an impact on sports.

Meanwhile our “socialist” President spends a few million dollars to have a Formula 1 exhibit in Caracas with Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado, who will soon debut in the Formula 1 circuit.

Oh, the pretty revolution!!!


13 Responses to “As infrastructure deteriorates in Venezuela, even sports suffers”

  1. HalfEmpty Says:

    What manner of roads were being used for the course? We’re they the small scenic type (subject always to less maintenance) or major arterys?

  2. loroferoz Says:

    Carlos Elio: You said it. Let me sum it up:

    “El subdesarrollo es carisimo” Underdevelopment is very expensive. Also, poverty is very expensive.

  3. sapitosetty Says:

    They say in the story that pothole repair began an hour before the race. But what the city officials may not have realized is that hot-patch asphalt is as bad for biking as potholes are. If you roll over hot-patch asphalt, you end up with sticky tires, which are destined to flat out within a few km. Also the crumbs of asphalt get kicked up behind leading cyclists, threatening the faces of those behind. As you know, some things can’t be improvised.

    On that subject, yes. Maracaibo is ful of oil slicks.

  4. Javier Says:

    Jau, google “Aban Pearl” or “Maracaibo oil spill”.

    Gustavo Coronel has several articles about this on his blog (see the blog roll in this blog) and in other places.

  5. speed Gibson Says:

    so NO organizer actually checked out the roads BEFORE the event?

    and of course the whole thing is profoundly ironic since we get our asphalt from Venz and our roads are Ok….well except for Michigan but thats a whole other socialist failure story

    and whatever happened to that chinese made Bolivar satelite?

  6. Kepler Says:


    They did not say it in the link, but some weeks ago the Russian site Lenta (one of the most serious within the rather lame Russian press) talked about some people saying it was initially 12 million euros and Chavez was quoted as saying it was “a very considerable amount”. Alek came up, I think, with 20 million dollars. In any case: enough to build a couple of schools with some tiny public libraries for Calabozo.

    And meanwhile the hospital where I was born in Valencia has no medicine and people have to buy medicine in the street vendors’ stands.

    If you use the search function in Lenta, you will find Chávez otherwise mostly on articles about the billions Russia has sold on weapons to Venezuela.

  7. geronl Says:

    They need to launch a road-building Olympics, whoever has more road built at the end of the day gets fed.

  8. Roger Says:

    Im sure the government is footing the bill for all this. If they were smart they would compete with the Baja 500. They could call it the Pot Hole 500!

  9. Kolya Says:

    There is an easy and cheap solution to the Vuelta al Tachira: make it an exciting mountain bike race.

    On a somewhat related note, my guess is that narrow-minded pitiyanquis will never admit to the wisdom of Hummer driving Chavistas. These dedicated Bolivarians had a clear vision of the revolutionary roads ahead. A future in which only Hummers will be able to navigate said roads.

  10. CarlosElio Says:

    How much does it cost to the cyclist this cancellation? I know that it is possible to carry out a utility analysis using a standard loss function, the simplest being what amount of money would make a cyclist indifferent between running the race or taking the amount (Morris de Groot has an elegant treatment of loss functions in his classic book Optimal Statistical Decisions).
    Furthermore, it must be possible to estimate the cost of chavez’s lousy government to a typical citizen. Not being an economist, the best I can do is to sketch such an estimation in broad swaths.
    Capital costs. I heard from a person in the construction business that 27% of the price of an apartment represents non material or labor costs. In other words, bureaucratic meddling: corruption, bribes, and permits. A similar figure for a car.
    Car operation. If car theft has gone up 20% under chavez, then 20% of your car insurance is due to chavez lousy government. Add to that the high cost of repair due to scarcity of spare parts, plus the cost of delay while being repaired and you get the number.
    Appliance early failure. TV’s washing machines, blenders and computers experience early failure due to unreliable power. Estimate the probability of early failure and multiply that by a reasonable estimate of appliances.
    Crime. Robbery, kidnappings, and death all have probabilities and mean costs. Estimate the increase in crime under chavez and you get your number.
    Inflation minus salary increases, plus the cost of finding the stuff you need (running around looking for Mazeite costs money)
    That’s enough for broad swaths.

    The economists have a nice homework.

  11. jau Says:

    Miguel, I have a question not related to this post.

    Today I flew over Lake Maracaibo and saw that the water has HUGE oil stains (from 40.000 feet up it was clear that it had to be oil or something related to oil), but I am talking HUGE, all over the lake.

    Do you know anything about this? A huge spill has gone unreported or under reported? I haven’t heard about this

    This guy is really destroying the country

  12. Gringo Says:

    If questioned on the roads, Thugo will shout that their condition is the fault of the Fourth Republic. Before turning power over to Thugo, the Fourth Republic should have made sure that all roads were in such pristine condition that no maintenance would have been needed for 30 years 🙂

  13. geronl Says:

    These things take time. lol. When the revolution is finished you will all be able to hover your way to work. Singing all the way about the glories of Hugo Chavez.

    I’m just thinking about all the fools who didn’t know Thomas More’s “Utopia” was a parody.

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