Friday, April 15, 2016

The Guri Dam and other important stuff.

I just finished talking with my friend who just returned from a visit to family in Venezuela. The purpose of the visit mainly was to bring vitamin supplements to her relatives,  two of whom are pregnant and were anemic. Personally delivering the supplements seemed wise as hunger and malnutrition are so widespread that one couldn't blame a carrier for stealing them for his own wife, kids and relatives.

She told me that in Cabimas,  a city near Maracaibo in Zulia State a three year old was trampled to death by an out of control crowd storming a supermarket for food. Things are grim.

Now, before I begin talking about the Guri Dam I want to make it clear that Venezuela is not unique in South America or in the world for having problems feeding it's people.  The mistakes made in Venezuela can at least be said to have come from a government that was trying to assure that the poorest Venezuelans got adequate alimentation.  In neighboring Colombia, for example, the supermarket shelves are full and there are no food riots. It's money that does the rationing and being that Colombia is a United States satellite nation, its.problems, including malnutrition and a skyrocketing production of cacaine in spite of (because of ?) the presence of US drug enforcement agents and elite semi clandestine military units don't get media attention. Venezuela does get the attention because it's been a diplomatic and financial obstacle to United States hegemony not only in Latin America but worldwide. 

I am aware that I could be accused of being a part of a campaign against Venezuela.  Please accept that my criticism is spurred by my personal connection with Venezuela, and out of love for its people,  a deep and hurting disappointment and sorrow over the current state of affairs there.

Also I want to preface my remarks about the Guri Dam by acknowledging that errors, even grave and costly ones can be motivated by a desire to do what's right, including a desire to avert or postpone or alleviate a severe power shortage.

In the United States bridges have collapsed due to right wing economic ideology that calls all taxation theft and all government action, even to maintain a bridge, as waste and tyrany. And so in Flint, Michigan the right wing governor who knowingly gambled with the city's health in order not to spend what he deems money stolen from the rich to provide free water to people marked as "useless eaters."

Venezuela is not Michigan and Guri is not Flint.

The people who posted this video say that an excavation that has taken place or is underway in the drought stricken Guri Dam is likely undermining the Dam and that when the rains ultimately return there could be calamitous floods. I cannot judge nor assess the accuracy of the claim but it frightened me enough to want the leaders of Venezuela to be aware of the alleged risk. They have access to expert opinions while I do not. I wish there were more discreet ways of going about this but let's face it, an email, or a tweet, or a phone call from a New York City taxi driver will not likely get a response or a respectful hearing.

God, please let the accusation  be wrong, I do not care about my reputation more than I care about the people of Venezuela.