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Page added on March 29, 2019

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Venezuela returns to ‘Middle Ages’ during power outages

Venezuela returns to ‘Middle Ages’ during power outages thumbnail

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.”

– Scouring trash –

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.

Underneath an office block of Digitel, one of the main cellphone companies, dozens of people stand around trying to get a signal.

“I’m trying to get connected to get news… on this chaotic episode we’re going through,” said one man, Douglas Perez.

With Caracas’s subway shut down, getting around the city is a trail, with choices between walking for kilometers (miles), lining up in the outsized hope of getting on one of the rare and badly overcrowded and dilapidated buses or managing to get fuel for a vehicle.

Pedro Jose said bus tickets have nearly doubled in price. “A ticket used to cost 100 bolivares (three US cents) and now it’s 1,500 (45 cents),” he raged.

As night casts Caracas into darkness, families light their homes as best they can.

“We make lamps that burn gasoline, or oil, or kerosene — any type of fuel,” explained Lizbeth Morin, 30.

“We’ve returned to the Middle Ages.”

Yahoo – AFP



7 Comments on "Venezuela returns to ‘Middle Ages’ during power outages"

  1. Darrell Cloud on Fri, 29th Mar 2019 12:31 pm 

    Get a water filter. If you don’t have one of these you have not been paying attention.
    https://www.rei.com/product/890900/sawyer-mini-water-filter?CAWELAID=120217890000931948&msclkid=3fe8d1fcacb61a41a8288

  2. Robert Inget on Fri, 29th Mar 2019 1:50 pm 

    Another former ‘peak oil’ star bites the dust.

    Mexico has been a net importer of oil for several years. Covered up by the fact that Mex does export crude to the US. However, we export that crude oil BACK to Mexico refined into gasoline, diesel & jet fuel.

    here’s a few charts if interested;

    https://www.investorvillage.com/groups.asp?mb=19168&mn=195532&pt=msg&mid=19290977

    So, when we add Mexico and Iran and Venezuela to the list, it’s no wonder the government is fighting tooth and nail keeping PoO in check.

    I don’t care how much BS gets thrown, at the end of the day, we lost that battle but damn few realized we were even at war.

    Like the Mueller Report, one day
    will crop up an unexpurgated copy.
    Or, the tide goes out and we see who is naked.

    Clearly, Mexico is no longer adding to world oil supply. Mexico now sips from your milkshake.

  3. Robert Inget on Fri, 29th Mar 2019 2:08 pm 

    The pity is Darrell, folks with little money can’t afford a reverse osmosis filter.

    APEC Top Tier 5-Stage Ultra Safe Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System (ESSENCE ROES-50)
    4.7 out of 5 stars 181 $229.95 (Amazon)

    RO is very slow going. One NEEDs running water at at least 40 lb psi.

    With half the world w/o (running) water or toilets
    The best filters are out of question.

    Oh, replacement filters for RO can cost over $100 a year and up depending on how crappy the water.

    I let mine run for about a half hour into a stainless tank for a six day supply.

  4. makati1 on Fri, 29th Mar 2019 6:13 pm 

    Our farmhouse water is supplied by nature. It is called rain. Where we live, it averages 12 feet per year, and is fairly evenly distributed. Even in the dry season, it rains every few days. The system and tanks are on the roof and water is fed by gravity when there is no electric. Since the rain comes in from the Pacific, it is fairly clean. The system provides about 40,000 gallons per year.

    When I was growing up, our house had the same system and a cistern under the porch with a hand pump when the electric was off. My family was prepping and didn’t realize it. lol

  5. Sissyfuss on Sat, 30th Mar 2019 8:58 am 

    Imagine a cashless economy with the grid going down. Venezuela is a precursor of such a scenario.

  6. peakyeast on Mon, 1st Apr 2019 8:48 pm 

    Building up a complex society takes centuries. Reverting to barbarism a few days.

  7. makati1 on Mon, 1st Apr 2019 10:11 pm 

    Imagine the US when the grid goes down…permanently. 90% dead in a year according to some estimates. The rats and roaches would feast because burial would be impossible for that many. About 294,000,000 or almost 900,000 per day. 36,000 per hour. 600 per minute. 10 every second.

    How long would it take to destroy the grid? Hmm. How long does it take for a nuke to explode over Kansas? A millisecond? Which foreign satellite caries the nuke over the US everyday? After all, there are almost 2,000 up there and more all the time.

    “Total number of operating satellites: 1,957
    United States: 849 Russia: 152 China: 284 Other: 672”

    https://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear-weapons/space-weapons/satellite-database

    And with nuke missiles now being installed in shipping containers…which American port will it come from?

    https://www.gatewaycontainersales.com.au/shipping-container-missile-systems-a-sneaky-scary-new-concept/

    How would YOU manage if there was no electric anywhere, ever again? Think about it.

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