Venezuela returns to ‘Middle Ages’ during power outages

Via Yahoo News

Maria Lorente AFPMarch 28, 2019

A man carries drums with water he collected from a stream at the Wuaraira Repano mountain, also called El Avila, in Caracas on March 13, 2019 (AFP Photo/Federico Parra
The power outages have had a life and death impact on some patients in need of critical medical care, such as kidney dialysis (AFP Photo/Federico PARRA)
The power outages have had a life and death impact on some patients in need of critical medical care, such as kidney dialysis

Caracas (AFP) – Walking for hours, making oil lamps, bearing water. For Venezuelans today, suffering under a new nationwide blackout that has lasted days, it’s like being thrown back to life centuries ago.

El Avila, a mountain that towers over Caracas, has become a place where families gather with buckets and jugs to fill up with water, wash dishes and scrub clothes. The taps in their homes are dry from lack of electricity to the city’s water pumps.

“We’re forced to get water from sources that obviously aren’t completely hygienic. But it’s enough for washing or doing the dishes,” said one resident, Manuel Almeida.

Because of the long lines of people, the activity can take hours of waiting.

Elsewhere, locals make use of cracked water pipes. But they still need to boil the water, or otherwise purify it.

“We’re going to bed without washing ourselves,” said one man, Pedro Jose, a 30-year-old living in a poorer neighborhood in the west of the capital.

Some shops seeing an opportunity have hiked the prices of bottles of water and bags of ice to between $3 and $5 — a fortune in a country where the monthly minimum salary is the equivalent of $5.50.

Better-off Venezuelans, those with access to US dollars, have rushed to fill hotels that have giant generators and working restaurants.

For others, preserving fresh food is a challenge. Finding it is even more difficult. The blackout has forced most shops to close.

“We share food” among family members and friends, explained Coral Munoz, 61, who counts herself lucky to have dollars.

“You have to keep a level head to put up with all this, and try to have people around because being alone make it even harder.”

For Kelvin Donaire, who lives in the poor Petare district, survival is complicated.

He walks for more than an hour to the bakery where he works in the upmarket Los Palos Grandes area. “At least I’m able to take a loaf back home,” Donaire said.

Many inhabitants have taken to salting meat to preserve it without working refrigerators.

Others, more desperate, scour trash cans for food scraps. They are hurt most by having to live in a country where basic food and medicine has become scarce and out of reach because of rocketing hyperinflation.

The latest blackout this week also knocked out communications.

According to NetBlocks, an organization monitoring telecoms networks, 85 percent of Venezuela has lost connection.

– ‘People need to eat’ –

In stores, cash registers no longer work and electronic payment terminals are blanked out. That’s serious in Venezuela, where even bread is bought by card because of lack of cash.

Some clients, trusted ones, are able to leave written IOUs.

“People need to eat. We let them take food and they will pay us when bank transfers come back,” explained shop owner Carlos Folache.

Read the full story here

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March 29, 2019 2:07 pm

This is the result of energy poverty.
However, with all its own petroleum where is the electricity generation issue stemming from?
Lack of manpower or lack of money to pay for manpower?

John Tillman
Reply to  Rocketscientist
March 29, 2019 2:27 pm

Venezuela relies on hydropower for electricity. Lack of maintenance and expertise, due to a brain drain, are behind the outages, not sabotage as claimed by Maduro.

Wild fires overheated power lines from the most important dam to two key substations.

Socialist robber barons Chavez and Maduro have sabotaged a once robust economy and plundered their country, as Putin has done Russia.

Bill Powers
Reply to  John Tillman
March 30, 2019 10:53 am

Artery Occluded Cortez want us to be just like Venezuela. If that idiot had a brain she would be twice as dangerous.

Reply to  Bill Powers
March 30, 2019 8:26 pm

Alexandria Occasional Cortex… is more apt a name… her brain works sometimes… and that is dangerous enough!

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Rocketscientist
March 29, 2019 2:46 pm

No electricity, … no pump petroleum out of ground.

No distillery, … no can distill petroleum to make fuel oil, gasoline, kerosene, etc

Juan Slayton
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
March 29, 2019 6:12 pm

or beer….

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  Juan Slayton
March 30, 2019 4:26 am

And no plastic water jugs in the Middle Ages. MODS still getting that “THIS PAGE CAN”T BE DISPLAYED” nonsense. I am referring Politicians to this website and since many are not computer savvy they might not know how to bypass or just not pursue. This has continued almost every day for the last two weeks. Frustrating. DuckDuckGo has no issue on other sites.

Richard Patton
Reply to  Carbon Bigfoot
March 31, 2019 10:21 pm

Did you try another browser? I have no issues and I use DuckDuckGo also.

Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
March 29, 2019 7:42 pm

No diesel generators?

Reply to  Rocketscientist
March 29, 2019 10:29 pm

Hmm… starting to sound like the lyrics to Imagine… with reality injected into the song.

David Smith
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
March 29, 2019 9:18 pm

Or El Muco rum!

Reply to  Rocketscientist
March 29, 2019 3:08 pm

My son tells me there is sabotage going on against their grid. Someone is shooting transformers with a 50 cal. I have no way to confirm this info.

John Tillman
Reply to  DMA
March 29, 2019 8:56 pm

That’s not info, but disinformation.

That three major transformers were taken out by wildfire, due to lack of maintenance and skilled personnel, however is an observable fact.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  DMA
March 30, 2019 5:54 am

There is a small electrical substation near where I live, similar to the one pictured here , …. but with only 1 large transformer, that, several years ago, someone shot a rifle bullet into …… and out electric was off for 8 days. Replacement for those large transformers are not easy to come by.

Reply to  Rocketscientist
March 29, 2019 8:58 pm

Venezuela’s oil needs some special refining to make it usable, and 95% of that refining capacity is in the US. So they have the crude – they just can’t use it.

mike macray
Reply to  ShanghaiDan
March 30, 2019 2:27 am

…Venezuela’s oil needs some special refining to make it usable, and 95% of that refining capacity is in the US. So they have the crude – they just can’t use it.

Yep! Sour ( = High Sulphur) Crude.

March 29, 2019 2:17 pm

I don’t know what the West is waiting for in allowing Venezuela to descend into a socialist/marxist living hell. Russia is already sending in their troops to make their claim there, and China is also eyeing up the situation and has been making predatory loans with their thirst for the largest oil reserves in the world. This is all clearly contrary to the Monroe Doctrine that the USA has implemented in this hemisphere for nearly the last 200 years.

C’mon President Trump…build a coalition of willing partners around the world to give notice that all of this will not be tolerated, and that a drop dead date will be issued for the departure of Maduro in the very near future. If we lose Venezuela on your watch to these criminals, then it won’t reflect well on all of us.

Reply to  Earthling2
March 29, 2019 3:00 pm

The rest of Latin America does not want US military intervention. And the rest of Latin America is either unwilling or unable to do anything effective. So, no coalition of the willing. If the US wants to intervene effectively it’ll have to be a military operation, essentially an invasion. Nobody will support the US if that happens, the US will be condemned by the rest of the world if it intervenes militarily. So, nothing meaningful happens. Russia and China gain a valuable foothold in the Western Hemisphere. And the power and prestige of the US wanes.

Reply to  SMC
March 29, 2019 4:26 pm

I don’t think it needs a full USA invasion of any type. Just go in and remove Maduro if he isn’t gone by Monday morning. The vast majority of the people would welcome the ouster of Maduro and his henchman in the military that have been running the country into the ground since Chavez. In this case, just cut the head off the snake and the Venezuela military will melt away very quickly. It sounds like most of the military is ready to revolt anyway, providing they aren’t shot first by Maduro. Cuba and Bolivia are the only Latin America states supporting Venezuela and most other Central and South America countries have recognized Guaidó as interim President. Mexico has decided not to take sides. 50+ countries internationally have signed declarations calling for the removal of Maduro.

This isn’t Afghanistan or Iraq. But it most certainly is a huge security threat to all the America’s as long as this instability festers in Venezuela and Latin America by extension. This is a dream come true for Russia and China to see a paralyzed USA unable to make any strategic decision in its own backyard. They will judge us everywhere else depending how we act here.

Reply to  Earthling2
March 29, 2019 4:55 pm

Even if we go in and ‘remove the head of the snake’ we’ll still have to have some military presence until Guaido, or whoever, can establish their leadership and take control.

The US is going to have to make a decision. Ignore the rest of world’s opinion by ousting Maduro from Venezuela and preserving the power and influence of the US or continue to do nothing meaningful and allow China and Russia to ascend.

John Tillman
Reply to  SMC
March 29, 2019 8:05 pm

No need for major US military presence. Colombia, Brazil and other neighbors can provide boots on the ground until the bought dog leadership of the Venezuelan armed forces is replaced, with the corrupt communist pols.

Reply to  SMC
March 29, 2019 8:15 pm

Colombia and Brazil don’t have the wherewithal to put boots on the ground without major US support. They don’t have the will, either.

John Tillman
Reply to  SMC
March 29, 2019 8:31 pm


They do have the ability, Colombia by road and Brazil by air. The US could aid air and sea landings, if deemed helpful.

As for will, what do you suppose was on Trump and Bolsonaro’s agenda?

Colombian president Duque is of the same breed as Bolsonaro and the conservative Chilean and Argentine presidents.

Reply to  SMC
March 29, 2019 10:20 pm

If Colombia and Brazil have the wherewithal and will to take out Maduro, then why haven’t they started taking meaningful steps?

John Tillman
Reply to  SMC
March 30, 2019 10:45 am

Because they’d rather he and his commie crook cronies go by peaceful means.

John Tillman
Reply to  SMC
March 29, 2019 8:00 pm

Colombian and Brazilian troops can achieve the liberation, with minimal US logistical support.

Both have suffered the effects of the mass exodus of starving refugees, as have other Latin American countries. But Colombia has a legitimate cause of war, due to Chavez and Maduros support of the communist, narco-terrorist FARC and its still extant offshoots.

Reply to  John Tillman
March 29, 2019 8:18 pm

They will require significant logistical support to be successful. But they don’t have the will.

John Tillman
Reply to  SMC
March 29, 2019 8:38 pm

Only minimal logistic support would be required.

Brazil has adequate amphibious and air assault capabilty, as well as ground transport and armor. Colombia is shy on amphibious capability, but Netherlands territory is close to the Venezuelan coast. The Netherlands is among the many countries recognizing Guaido as legitimate president.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
March 29, 2019 8:48 pm

The Colombian Army has an entire Air Assault Division, same number as the US, with our 101st AAD:

It could also field an air landing division, comparable to our 82nd Airborne Division, but would need to borrow C-130s.

It has a Special Forces Division and Naval Infantry (Marine) Division, as well. The latter is primarily riverine, with just one of its four brigades maritime amphibious. So again, US support would be needed for beach landings.

Brazil however has it all.

Reply to  John Tillman
March 29, 2019 10:22 pm

On paper, sounds great. I won’t hold my breath.

March 29, 2019 2:19 pm

the people in that picture are all over weight….

How exactly are these people surviving this long?

Reply to  Latitude
March 29, 2019 5:17 pm

CO2 boosted the food supply.

Carl Friis-Hansen
March 29, 2019 2:19 pm

According to France24:

State-owned electricity operator Corpoelec blamed the outage on what it called an “attack” on the Guri Dam, one of the world’s largest hydroelectric stations and the cornerstone of Venezuela’s electrical grid.

March 29, 2019 2:21 pm

This is not communism, communism makes people wealthy and rich.

They should read their Marx and Engels and Lenin to find out where they went wrong!

The people are paramount in a collective society! 😉



Reply to  Roger
March 29, 2019 4:12 pm

Absolutely! And we’ll all sit around the fire singing kumbya while roasting some long pig.

Joel O'Bryan
March 29, 2019 2:25 pm

With Moron Markey’s and Barmaid Ayock’s Green Leap Forward guide and Comrade Bernie as President-for-Life marxism…. here we come.

Keep putting up Steyer’s windmills and solar farms while closing coal and nuclear plants, I give it about 10 years if we don’t stop the Lunatics on the Left.

March 29, 2019 2:28 pm

Rocketscientist, I can’t help but hope you are averting your mind from the underlying causes for benevolent reasons. The cause, as always in history, is that the rheteric of socialism proves inevitably to be a mirage of intellectual deceit, and the proletariat pay dearly as their country, culture and lives spiral into poverty and despair. When you separate knowledge from power systemic failure is a certainty.

March 29, 2019 2:32 pm

“Look how bad things are in Venezuela”

Not a helpful article in any way.

Reply to  Albert
March 29, 2019 8:17 pm

Why is pointing out the failures of socialism un-helpful?

March 29, 2019 3:22 pm

But listen to the article! The good Socialists are helping neighbors. Helping each other. They will get over all this Yankee interference in their Socialist nirvana. Any difficulties they are having are the result of CIA sabotage. But the Socialist peoples are resilient. They will defeat the Yankee monster attempting to destabilize their wonderland. Someone will fix all their problems. They have total confidence that their government will provide all they need to survive. And if famine kills millions? Then there will be more food to go around for the survivors. Everything works out fabulously in Socialist Paradises. /more sarc.

Howard Dewhirst
March 29, 2019 3:49 pm

Surely this is good? The Green Nirvana that we all long for?

Ed Moran
March 29, 2019 3:53 pm

A warning of a genuine possibility of catastrophe is always helpful. Who knows, it might help avoid
said horrors.

Mr Bliss
March 29, 2019 4:07 pm

AOC said ” My hope is that my Green Deal will bring this quality of life to my fellow Americans!”

michael hart
March 29, 2019 4:13 pm

I just feel desperately sorry for people I am powerless to help. All I can do is warn others not to be taken in by this kind of ideology. It crops up, fails, and then appears again somewhere else or in the same place again after a couple of generations. And fails again.

R Shearer
March 29, 2019 6:16 pm

They would have loved plastic jugs and pails in the Middle Ages.

John in Oz
March 29, 2019 6:19 pm

I have been waiting for reporting of this debacle on Oz news but, so far, crickets!

Thanks WUWT for keeping us informed

Douglas Pollock
March 29, 2019 7:41 pm

For AO-C Venezuela must be her ideal green paradise that also wants for the US.

March 29, 2019 8:13 pm

I was expecting bonbon to chime in to tell us how this all the fault of Bolton.

Rhys Jaggar
March 29, 2019 9:49 pm

Mr Watts

This is a climate blog, not a forum for cheerleading US global criminality.

If you think the US should be fomenting coups worldwide, you have no right to life and no place on this earth.

Everyone knows the US is doing everything to destroy representative democracy in any country which refuses to allow US corporations carte blanche.

If you see that as acceptable, your views on climate are irrelevant.

You would be an animal.

Reply to  Rhys Jaggar
March 29, 2019 10:38 pm

Umm, Wow! That’s an interesting rant. Care to unpack that a little bit?

David Guy-Johnson
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar
March 30, 2019 12:19 am

Rhys, it’s time for your medication

Garland Lowe
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar
March 30, 2019 1:42 am

“If you think the US should be fomenting coups worldwide, you have no right to life and no place on this earth.”
If you disagree with me you should be wiped off the face of the earth. Don’t know if he’s a liberal, but he sure has their condescending attitude down pat.

Reply to  Rhys Jaggar
March 30, 2019 5:12 am

Wuwt is more than a climate blog.

And “America’s criminality” is leftard code for “I’m totally unhappy with my lot in life and I have to blame someone else for my lack of drive and being a total failure. It’s not my fault man!”

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar
March 30, 2019 6:13 am

This is also not a forum for irrational American hating screed. Take your vile hatred somewhere else please. CNN would probably welcome you with open arms.

March 30, 2019 12:37 am

We live in a computerised world.
This is the new warfare and one has to learn from this case. It is not exactly the first examplee, but the first one with that large effect.

Garland Lowe
March 30, 2019 1:42 am

America’s future with the GND.

Hocus Locus
March 30, 2019 5:47 am

Those plastic water bottles are interfering with Venezuela’s smooth and complete transition back to the Middle Ages. Water was most often carried in the bladders of sheep and cows to avoid the fragility and weight of clay pots. Until you see people drinking from ram’s bladders think of it rather as a hiccup.

Andrew Burnette
Reply to  Hocus Locus
March 30, 2019 9:24 am

Ha ha. That was an awesome observation/opinion. Well delivered.

Johann Wundersamer
April 2, 2019 5:58 am

“Walking for hours, making oil lamps, bearing water. For Venezuelans today, suffering under a new nationwide blackout that has lasted days, it’s like being thrown back to life centuries ago.”

So they go to the “holy fountains” and return the water

contaminated with streptococci and the chemicals used to make their textiles

to the mountain: and thus to the groundwater.

NG: not good.

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