Electricity emergency in oil rich Venezuela

Rick Moran
All hail our great President for Life and his Miracle Socialist Revolution!

Despite its huge crude reserves, the South American OPEC member relies on hydro-electricity for 70 percent of its power needs, and a drought has hit supply since late 2009."We are ready to decree the electricity emergency, because it really is an emergency," Chavez said in the first edition of a show on state radio air waves called "Suddenly Chavez."

With electricity cuts weighing on Chavez's popularity ahead of important legislative elections in September, the government blames the shortages on the drought and soaring demand during five years of economic growth until 2008.

But critics say poor management and under-investment have undermined the power grid and exposed the failings of Chavez's "21st century socialism" policies during his 11-year rule.

Analysts say power cuts have played a big part -- along with water shortages and high crime levels -- in cutting Chavez's popularity levels from more than 60 percent a year ago to around 50 percent now.

A formal decree of emergency would enable the government to speed up moves to confront the power crisis, which range from stricter rationing and more thermoelectric generation, to the "seeding" of clouds in an attempt to produce rain.

"I call on the whole country: 'Switch off the lights.' We are facing the worst drought Venezuela has had in almost 100 years," Chavez said in what appeared to be a new radio version of his long-running "Hello Mr. President" TV show on Sundays.

This is what President Obama has in store for our energy future. Shared scarcity. Calls for sacrifice. Who knows, maybe Obama will start a radio show too. "Suddenly, Mr. President" has a nice, breezy ring to it don't you think? Except in the US, there's more than a couple of radio stations we can flip to in order to escape the propaganda.

Meanwhile, Chavez's regime is becoming more cultlike all the time. His new radio show is reminiscent of Jim Jones at Jonestown:

Chavez said the program would always be preceded by the sound of a harp playing local folk-music. "When you hear the pluck of a harp on the radio, maybe Chavez is coming. It's suddenly, at any time, maybe midnight, maybe early morning."

Jones would get on the PA system at all hours of the day or night, haranguing his cult followers about the end of the world. Maybe Chavez sees his new show as a way to break down the resistance of the people to his program.

I'm sure Venezuelans will be on pins and needles at all hours of the day and night just waiting for Chavez to "suddenly" brighten their lives.

All hail our great President for Life and his Miracle Socialist Revolution!

Despite its huge crude reserves, the South American OPEC member relies on hydro-electricity for 70 percent of its power needs, and a drought has hit supply since late 2009.

"We are ready to decree the electricity emergency, because it really is an emergency," Chavez said in the first edition of a show on state radio air waves called "Suddenly Chavez."

With electricity cuts weighing on Chavez's popularity ahead of important legislative elections in September, the government blames the shortages on the drought and soaring demand during five years of economic growth until 2008.

But critics say poor management and under-investment have undermined the power grid and exposed the failings of Chavez's "21st century socialism" policies during his 11-year rule.

Analysts say power cuts have played a big part -- along with water shortages and high crime levels -- in cutting Chavez's popularity levels from more than 60 percent a year ago to around 50 percent now.

A formal decree of emergency would enable the government to speed up moves to confront the power crisis, which range from stricter rationing and more thermoelectric generation, to the "seeding" of clouds in an attempt to produce rain.

"I call on the whole country: 'Switch off the lights.' We are facing the worst drought Venezuela has had in almost 100 years," Chavez said in what appeared to be a new radio version of his long-running "Hello Mr. President" TV show on Sundays.

This is what President Obama has in store for our energy future. Shared scarcity. Calls for sacrifice. Who knows, maybe Obama will start a radio show too. "Suddenly, Mr. President" has a nice, breezy ring to it don't you think? Except in the US, there's more than a couple of radio stations we can flip to in order to escape the propaganda.

Meanwhile, Chavez's regime is becoming more cultlike all the time. His new radio show is reminiscent of Jim Jones at Jonestown:

Chavez said the program would always be preceded by the sound of a harp playing local folk-music. "When you hear the pluck of a harp on the radio, maybe Chavez is coming. It's suddenly, at any time, maybe midnight, maybe early morning."

Jones would get on the PA system at all hours of the day or night, haranguing his cult followers about the end of the world. Maybe Chavez sees his new show as a way to break down the resistance of the people to his program.

I'm sure Venezuelans will be on pins and needles at all hours of the day and night just waiting for Chavez to "suddenly" brighten their lives.