Chavez can't deliver water etc.

Sunday Telegraph:

For the slum-dwellers of El Junquito, the fabulous views of Caracas have never been of much interest. It was the piped water and electricity supplied to their makeshift homes that earned their loyalty to Venezuela's authoritarian leader, President Hugo Chavez.

But 10 years after Mr Chavez launched his socialist "revolution", funded by an oil boom that has poured an estimated $800 billion into his coffers, the energy-rich state is plagued by ever more frequent power cuts and desperate water shortages.

That is costing the populist president his support among those who should be his bedrock followers - the poor. Now, in an attempt to regain his popularity, the former paratrooper turned firebrand politician is responding with an mixture of bellicose bluster and almost comic bravado.

In recent weeks he has urged his countrymen to stop wasting water by singing in the shower and complained at their enthusiasm for energy-guzzling shopping malls.

He has promised to fly personally with Cuban scientists to "zap" clouds and make them rain. He has warned Venezuelans to "prepare for war" with neighbouring Colombia - and last week made headlines around the world by sticking up for the terrorist Carlos the Jackal, the late Ugandan tyrant, Idi Amin, and Zimbabwe's ruler, Robert Mugabe.

"Chavez is just loco [crazy]," said Enrique Linares as he looked down from his small concrete home, past the immediate sight - and stench - of mounds of rotting rubbish, to the skyscrapers that oil built in the valley beneath El Junquito. "We're supposed to be a petro-state, and look how we live."


We are seeing the failure of another command economy in Venezuela despite the oil wealth Chavez has confiscated. Socialism does not work and has never worked, especially when managed by some one with Chavez's lack of comprehension.


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