Saturday, February 27, 2010

Lights out for Chavez

Hugo Chavez has a power failure:
Power failures have become a fact of life in Venezuela, but the energy problems have not affected the presidential palace - until now.

President Hugo Chavez was giving a televised address Thursday when the broadcast on state TV was suddenly interrupted. TV screens went fuzzy for a couple of seconds, then the channel switched to a spot urging Venezuelans to save electricity.
Chavez is known for giving long speeches. In his Sunday program, "Hello President", he speaks for four to six hours.

He has banned singing in the shower:
Despite its huge crude oil reserves, Venezuela relies on hydroelectricity for 70 percent of its power, and a drought has affected power supplies since late last year. “We are ready to decree the electricity emergency because it really is an emergency,” Mr. Chávez said in the first edition of “Suddenly Chávez,” on state radio.

With electricity cuts weighing on Mr. Chávez’s popularity and important legislative elections scheduled for September, the government says the shortages are a result of the drought and soaring demand during years of economic growth, until 2008.

But critics say poor management and underinvestment were responsible for undermining the power grid, and they contend that this has exposed the failings of Mr. Chávez’s policies during his 11 years in office.
President Hugo Chavez said Thursday that Venezuela should boycott the Organization of American States' human rights body, saying the panel wrongly accused his government of political repression.

Chavez took issue with a report issued this week by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which cited widespread human rights violations in Venezuela. The socialist leader called the 300-page report ''pure garbage'' and described the commission's president, Santiago Canton, as ''excrement.''

''We should prepare to denounce the agreement in which Venezuela joined ... this terrible Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and leave it,'' Chavez said during a televised address.


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