Socialists Host Massive Festival as Venezuela Fights Blackouts

Caracas – Venezuela’s socialist regime held a free music and sports festival called “DracuFest” from April 12 to 16 in the city of Puerto Cabello, Carabobo, inviting foreign and local musicians to perform.

While the event serves to deepen the regime’s narrative by presenting Venezuela as a normal, functioning country, the reality is that its public infrastructure continues to collapse, especially its electrical grid – making “DracuFest” an unforgivable waste of public resources.

The “DracuFest” was presented by Rafael Lacava, governor of the state of Carabobo. Lacava, sanctioned by the United States in 2019 and maintaining very close ties with socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro, was recently portrayed by the New York Times as a “cosmopolitan” technocrat. Lacava has co-opted the image of a “Dracula bat” and turned it into his own personal brand, with examples such as renaming a plaza to “Plaza Drácula” or “TransDracula”, a series of transport buses allegedly acquired through a 2018 Auction. in the United States.

In contrast to “bread and circuses”, the state of Carabobo continues to face the consequences of its crumbling public infrastructure and lack of investment on behalf of the socialist government. The city of Valencia, capital of the state of Carabobo, suffered several blackouts on April 16 as the festival continued. It is common for Valencia to experience blackouts almost daily and its citizens have to deal with falling power poles and exploding power transformers which pose a major risk to their safety.

The experience of suffering through endless blackouts continues to echo across the country, where there were 194,656 power outages and 12 nationwide blackouts in 2021 alone.

Citizens of the state of Merida recently protested that they only received a total of four hours of electricity in two days. On Easter Sunday, just hours after the conclusion of “DracuFest”, ten of the country’s 23 states suffered a blackout. The only partially exempt place is Venezuela’s capital, Caracas – but being the seat of power for the Bolivarian Revolution no longer protects Caracas from the ongoing collapse. Blackouts and power fluctuations have become more common.

The explosion of a power substation in the Petare district of Caracas has left the area without power for more than 30 hours at the time of publication.

Critics of DracuFest denounced the event as a “circus without bread” and not a priority for the country, while urging the government to focus on Carabobo’s critical problems, such as the failure of the power grid. It is unclear how much money was spent on organizing the event.

“DracuFest has swallowed all the power. This is extraordinary,” read a tweet with the hashtag #SinLuz, a hashtag used by Venezuelans frequently on a daily basis to announce and vent about the endless blackouts taking place in the country.

“Sectors of Valencia with #SinLuz hours, there is no dracufest that can rehabilitate the Electric System,” read another tweet.

Lacava responded to the criticism by cataloging his critics as “dreadful”, a colloquial term in Venezuela to describe people who bring bad luck or are unlucky.

Venezuela’s socialist regime often portrays blackouts as “attacks” on Venezuela’s electricity grid allegedly orchestrated by the United States of America, Colombia or the Venezuelan opposition – despite the constant presence of members of the Bolivarian National Guard at every power plant in Venezuela. .

Constant blackouts have damaged countless home appliances in a country where the vast majority cannot repair or replace them. Venezuela’s electrical services law stipulates that the state is responsible for any damages caused – but since, in their own narrative, these blackouts are a result of foreign attacks, they are not responsible for any damages caused. That was the answer given to the committee of those affected by the blackouts in Venezuela.

There is no relief for those looking for an escape from unnecessary socialist music festivals. Maduro (who was once the host of the state radio program salsa time) recently announced that Venezuela would host the World Merengue Festival in July 2022. Maduro has already invited artists who are friends with him and the socialist regime in Venezuela, such as Bonny Cepeda, who was denounced for having received US$ 60,000 to sing on Maduro’s birthday .

These festivals and musical events are being used to deepen the narrative of Venezuela’s miraculous recovery. Although the country has seen a sudden ten percent growth in its GDP, it would still take 17 years to get back to 2013 levels and undo all the damage done by the Maduro regime – in a mere economic sense that doesn’t take into account the public utility infrastructure almost obliterated.

Christian K. Caruzo is a Venezuelan writer and documents life under socialism. You can follow him on Twitter on here.

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