By Eira Gonzalez.
Additional reporting by Carlos Camacho in Caracas.
On Tuesday, September 29, the inhabitants of Paraguaipoa, in the municipality of Guajira, Zulia state, protested with a cacerolazo, a kind of pot-banging protest, to demand that the local authorities resolve the electrical crisis that is bothering the entire population.
The electricity crisis that was first declared by Hugo Chavez in 2008 remains unresolved, despite spending billions of US dollars trying to fix the problem, the bulk of which were stolen, according to a report by the opposition-held National Assembly.
Now, the crisis has reached the capital with the Maduro regime electricity monopoly Corpoelec, announcing that the blackout experienced Wednesday night in areas in and adjacent Caracas was, in fact, rationing, and not a failure.
In Paraguaipoa, Zulia, near the well-lit Colombian border, neighbors say they had only 18 hours last week. The brownouts that are registered every day have damaged the few appliances that they have left.
Given this scenario, they indicated that they are tired of having “bad days and worse nights” because of the constant failures in the service: Maracaibo is extremely hot in the day time, and mosquitoes run rampant at night. Children are the most affecting, because of the bugs and the heat in this region of Zulia. So it was time to protest. The “cacerolazo” began at 8.00 pm.
In September, the problem became more acute as heavy rain and strong winds felled posts and wires in Wayuu and Añu Native Venezuelan territories.
Carmen Paz, an inhabitant of the Guajira, said that the failures are due to lack of maintenance, which subjected the people to a 50-year setback when they used the chompi (a makeshift device) to light their homes.
“They don’t put resources into the electrical system to buy new equipment. In the 21st century, they are patching together old wires and poles. That is the great reality we are living with this beautiful revolution,” Paz said.