OK not everywhere, but in a few areas:
The Isla refinery, operated by PDVSA, is supposed to start up Wednesday. I’m not holding my breath, as I don’t live downwind. If they can do it, that’s pretty nifty, the gigondo refinery has basically been idle since the end of February for lack of steam pressure from the adjacent “BOO plant,” a privatized utility plant. Mitsubishi and Mitsui managed the place so badly that even the usually chilled-out Curacao government and residents got sick of them and there is now nationalization talk in the air. Six months is a long time to be without your biggest productive business and biggest employer.
Don’t tell the newspapers, but I give Guri Lake about 10-12 days before they have to open the floodgates. As in, it’s full, no more room at the inn, dump that water into the (oops!) already swollen Orinoco. Before you write in, yes, I know: this doesn’t mean there’s a healthy and happy electricity situation in the Bolivarian Republic. Transmission is a mess, and the dam is only full because Sidor and Venalum remain basically shut down, and there is still rationing all over the rural west. Not the best way to save energy and dam water. Still, pretty impressive that here a few months ago there was worry that the dam would end the year at a lower level than it started. In fact it’s now at a higher water level than it ever attained in 2009.
Our now customary chart:
Election season is going, and it seems the so-called opposition is following my lead and not talking very much about the president. OMG is it possible there is more to Venezuela than one dude with two chins?
I’m not terribly worried about this normalcy threat. It’s always interesting times in Caracas.