Kraj bez prądu – Wenezuela

On the 7th of March at 16:55 electricity was cut off in the whole country It was the biggest blackout in history and in some places it lasted for a week In this episode you’ll see how a country with no access to electricity functions /10th of April/ It’s the 7th of March 2019 and whole Venezuela has been out of power for three hours Hi there! What you see now is probably a terrible quality image It’s almost 8 PM and we haven’t had electricity for 3 hours I’ll show you Caracas with no lights in a second Let me switch off the flashlight There’s a car coming, so there’s some light Some people sitting over there /insults shouted against Maduro/ It’s the next day, the 8th of March (18 hours with no electricity) I made myself some coffee, since we have gas, but STILL no power The problem is – there is no network visible, no signal at all So I cannot communicate with anyone and learn whether it’s a local problem or maybe, as I heard yesterday, it concerns the whole country I’m not able to speak to anyone What’s worse, there is no cash here (the new one, which is still worth at least something), so I can only buy food with card All I’ve got left is that melon and two bananas I think I’ll be saving that I assume cards will not work anywhere either, with no electricity Considering the fact that I have nothing else to do I decided to charge my camera and walk around the city A notice reminding you to lock the door And a hole for the intercom I bet it’s locked A typical building with a huge gate and bars Here’s a shop with some meat and cheese /cocoa on sale/ The owner told me he’s already had a few deliveries of ice, because of the 19-hour blackout That’s how it is It’s hard running a business in Venezuela See – these buildings here are all barred It’s not only to prevent children from falling out It’s mostly about keep burglars away from your flat This is a Misión Vivienda building A social building with Chavez’s signature here and his eyes on the other side The highway looks quite ordinary, we can see some cars It was open before Chavez’s rule, back then they invested in things that made sense The traffic lights don’t really work, of course Well, they’ve never really worked here, you always cross the street by feel These buildings still remember Venezuela’s greatness And these are offers of jobs abroad The subway is just closed So we can say for the past day the country has not been functioning with no electricity It’s hardcore Even pharmacies that used to be open all the time This place is usually totally crowded Now I guess people aren’t leaving their homes, since they have no reason to This is the Boulevard of Sabana Grande during the day We used to walk here at night, which is not a good idea My brother insisted on reaching a club, so we’ll just walk While we used to cover the 3-kilometer way to the club in about 3 hours We usually came back home much later The Venezuelan Uber, called Nexo hasn’t worked for some time, so we’re walking back home It’s a quarter to three in the morning What to do? How to live? In October we could still use Nexo here – an equivalent of Uber, but it stopped functioning a while ago Ordinary taxis are a pain in the ass here if you don’t have a bank account in Venezuela (you pay with a transfer) So you’re left with your feet only It turns out robbers sleep at night, too Look at that ride Simply unbelievable It seems the thieves really slept that night But on another occassion we lost our phones on the way back with a group of friends After facing a gun pointed at us, we decided to never walk through the city at night again All the confetti you can see are the remains of a carnival A fun fact here – this was supposed to be a hotel, but it was nationalized by Chavez and turned into some trade spot /the info on it differs – others say the building was abandoned and Chavez took care of it/ Lines to the buses and the crowds inside them That’s a building belonging to Banesco Bank, Maduro is trying to nationalize it As his rolemodel Chavez would do Let’s hope it won’t happen, since this is the only bank that works quite well An old, cool ride A honda service over there, but I think it’s gone bankrupt Look at this That’s Rio Guaire river, but the level is really low, that’s because of little rainfall

/also some people have no running water, so they stopped dumping sewage/ There are also people I call gold seekers Trying to find rings that people lost in their washbasins I hope one day I’ll be able to record them Over there is a district we’re heading towards – Las Mercedes Quite a big traffic jam here Somebody’s transporting a generator I’m wondering what’s the reason for this jam Well, Ladies and Gentlemen I guess it’s a traffic jam leading to a petrol station, people just want to get petrol ASAP Yeah, I see it turning into a station They are probably afraid petrol will be cut off, too Or they need lots of it for their generators Policemen controlling the traffic A line of motorcycles PDVSA is the only company selling petrol it’s state-owned, of course /other companies struggle with petrol shortages… they buy it from… PDVSA/ An accident took place over there, but with all the mess on the streets here it’s no surprise That’s a telephone Chrysler and Jeep dealership All these new cars, you know, the most expensive ones They usually belong to ‘enchufados’ – people with connections in the government (literal meaning – ‘connected to a contact’) or their families and friends Or private business owners, who are still here The traffic lights don’t work, but that’s common – usually the bigger one has the right of way So whether lights work or not, it’s all fine Here’s a Polish man you know – John Paul II Mother Theresa One of the main arteries Avenida Libertador And here’s a new investment, it even includes a heliport A statue of John Paul II With a wrong death date See the cool truck watering plants in the middle of the road The fuel consumption must be crazy More business and more investments Surely not foreign, those are in risk of being nationalized That’s Chavistas’ money /power is back/ Fortunately they switched the electricity on when I came to this restaurant So I managed to buy two glasses of strawberry juice and a meat arepa Look who it is Listen guys, it’s 17:23, I’m back home now I took a while to talk to a guy in a store And again, there’s no power in my flat The water in my fridge is still cold It got cold during that hour… maybe an hour and a half Just another day in Venezuela The most irritating thing is that I’m unable to talk to any of my friends, no phone signal, no Internet Just a black hole – we all live in different places, I cannot reach them in any way Can’t check Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or call anyone I’m in deep s#*t I’ve decided that if I can’t switch on the light at 8 PM I’m going to swallow a magical pill called melatonin and sleep until the morning I can’t do anything anyways, even edit my videos The battery in my laptop is dead Fortunately I wasn’t left all alone My friend Mauricio guessed that I’m all alone now and came here with his girlfriend to pick me up Much to our surprise it turned out some streets in Caracas are fully lit Look Electricity It never happened before, Bart No power for 25 hours? It never took place, you know? We’re approaching Las Mercedes and it’s pitch black here, apart from some buildings Some buildings have generators, right? Yeah, some of them I saw a huge line here today Yeah, people have no petrol There is petrol, but it cannot be tanked without power This station has a power generator, so everybody comes here They’re partying here, having a great time The Police are circling around What’s that? A party? No, children living in the streets No lights here either Nobody that owns a car wants to sit at home, right These great restaurants are full They always have power, right? Yes They have their own generates and don’t give a shit Enchufados and rich people can afford that

We just talked about the fact, that in order to import such cars, you have to know somebody in the army You can’t just do it on your own If anyone imports a car like that, it means they have connections /or the agent has a deal with the military, allowing them to import with no duty paid and all the red tape skipped/ We’re passing all the dark buildings, but the city’s not empty You can hear the sounds of caserolaso This is a popular form of protest here It’s basically making loud sounds by hitting one metal object with another one I’m a Polish YouTuber, I’d like to ask you for how long have you had no electricity Approaching 26 hours Have you had that happen before? No, this is the first time During those 20 years we had blackouts many times But never for a day Nobody cared about the infrastructure So this is the result The government says it’s the opposition’s fault What do you think, boy?! The fault is their neglect! The power plant is protected by soldiers, how could the opposition do anything? It’s surrounded by soldiers and the natiol guards They start shooting the moment they see a stranger! Who would try and break there? People working there don’t know what they’re doing they are unprepared to doing that job That’s why we have no electricity The military is employed in all those organizations and they have simply no idea how it works They can only shoot And the water? Stops running 3-4 hours after the power’s cut off As the pump stops working Ok, but generally you have running water, right? Once we do, once we don’t! Where I live we have running water once every 15 days for 30 minutes So you need a really big container Of course, since we get 30 minutes every 15 days And then, sometimes, 3 weeks with no running water She moved into our place, because they have rarely gotten any water lately The government is responsible for that, too. How? Neglect, constant water system failures This is one of the main pipes of the city, despite that it’s often empty I’ll show you the manhole, the diameter of that pipe is like 2 meters [6.5 feet] I’m now looking for that pipe Hear that? Those people are just pissed off This is the manhole, it distributes water to different parts of our district A man doing maintenance work died here As soon as he finished someone issued an order to switch the water on and he got swept all the way to the El Guaire river He died half a year ago Every two months they are reparing stuff here We’re in a restaurant we frequent Mauricio told me somethind I didn’t know today This restaurant is a popular spot for enchufados So for Chavistas I saw a guy in a red shirt down there /red – Chavistas’ color/ He looked like an idiot, well, they often are uneducated ‘Mediocre and inert, but faithful’ [rhymes in Polish] Often people who are just rich come here, too Some business owners But overall it’s like a Chavista place Mauricio told me he thinks it’s very sad to be here in a city that hasn’t had any light for 24 hours Where doctors were fighting for children’s lives, as hospitals didn’t have power either The thing is we have little choice, as most places in the city have no electricity at all We’ve just learn most of the city has no power again We finished that evening with lots of sangria That’s why there might be some mumbling In the next episodes you’ll get to meet the guy sitting here – Tomek Surdel A Polish guy who’s lived here for years and a friend of mine That’s police? An ambulance That’s better No, a firetruck Firemen don’t steal They generally don’t steal, yeah Have you ever heard about them stealing? Sure! Really? When they enter your house to put the fire down Really? They robbed you? They take whatever’s left These types of jokes in such a dramatic moment may seem a bit out of place

But if you’re here for a while, sense of humor is the best thing to deal with all the nonsense around you It’s a fact – you can be robbed by a policeman, a soldier or a 12-year old boy on the street In one of the next episodes you will have a chance to listen to an interview with Tomek He’ll describe his experiences after living here for 8 years It’s our second day with no electricity Even though you see the street lights on Flats and houses are filled with darkness I came around late the next day It felt like people were getting used to the situation, but it got a bit rough in the evening Saturday, the 9th of March, 19:52 50 hours without electricity So happy I’ve got these fruits I wouldn’t be able to buy them today, the cards don’t work again So I’d be left with no food Another day is here, we’re going to buy some food (Sunday, 68 hours with no electricity) in a closed shop… let’s try It’s Sunday, all the shops are closed, but we’ve found a shop belonging to our colleagues and it’s open /they had power for a while, but I couldn’t pay because of no phone signal/ I found some sauce, but sadly they have no pasta 1000 bolivars – 0.3 dollars Minimum monthly salary – 18 000 bolivars Due to inflation, these price tags change every week or even more often We’re now in the district of Altamira, people are stopping here to ‘catch’ some Internet There’s always signal here, even with no electricity – that’s because the army needs the Internet There’s a military base nearby Hence all the people stopping here He’s now transfering money for the food we bought in the shop, he wasn’t able to do that earlier At the moment 96% of Venezuelans have no access to the Internet Just 4% can use it now – we’re on the lucky side Las Mercedes and some huge investments, huge facilities being built Costs probably covered by drug-related money All money obtained through corruption No other people apart from Chavistas invest their money here The rest can’t be sure whether it will be nationalized Foreign business has no place here, I’d say Still no lights, huh None, I can hear the generators We’re on our way to a restaurant So we can see how a tiny fraction of the society lives now – only those who can afford eating out The owners of that place have a generator, so power is there Cars with darkened windows Let’s go We paid in cash for our food, it cost $28 for dinner for all of us We’re having some signal problems, so the stories won’t upload on Instagram Some difficulties And here are some more fresh rides, black windows included, of course Wow, full tank? Yeah How long did you wait? 2 hours The reason for the lines at petrol stations is that only a few of them in the city Can produce their own electricity with generators One of my guys here tanked in the morning, the other one decided to go at night At night people are generally afraid to drive So he said there was no line at all at 1 or 2 AM He was the only person there That’s a cable car to the Humboldt Hotel I was wrong when I told you Chavez started building it Not true – it was built earlier Even the cable car used to reach the other side of the mountain All the way to the Costa – the coast But now it doesn’t work anymore A legendary hotel constructed by Pérez Jiménez, a politician from the 50s A right-wing dictator, as some people say All that, including the highway, was built during his rule I sometimes see Macaws there on that tree They often like to sit here, too Not so lucky now, they seem to have left Another week, it’s Monday the 11th of March – most of the country still struggles with lack of electricity (90 hours of blackout) On that day we rode our motorcycles, as it’s safer to run away in case of problems and we went to the Parliament, where opposition rules There the interim president Guaido announced state of emergency Seems like we made some Chavistas picketing in from of the building angry

The next episode will focus on that, too On the next day a part of the country is happy to have electricity back at homes Thanks to that Mauricio can talk to his parents after 5 days and tell them everything’s fine No, but here too, you know? They switched it on yesterday morning, but we have no running water at all So people who have no money to buy some are collecting it wfrom El Guaire, can you imagine Lack of water is much worse Incoming protests were announced in Caracas At a given moment people were supposed to walk out into the streets We decided to drive around and record it Los Dos Caminos, a district in Caracas Could you tell us for how long have you had no water? It’ll be 6 days today And electricity? The switched it on yesterday afternoon Did you use to have issues with water and power, but not for that long? We’ve always struggled with water shortages But no such problems with electricity ever before It’s highly likely that the car you see there, people told me are some government forces No registration plates, so you can’t identify them And they can inflitrate Unmarked vehicles driven by various special forces are a common sight in Venezuela Just light street lamps being switched on during the day We met a bigger protestors’ group a few streets farther This is still a so-called ‘good neighborhood’ Maduro GET OUT! Maduro GET OUT! Cubans GET OUT! Get out, you tyrant! Get out, Maduro! Look, a water tank is coming Water! Water! These are protesting people Cubans get out! (Cuban forces probably initiated the Bolivarian Revolution, supposedly they protect the officials and it is said they pull the strings in Venezuela) /people singing the national anthem/ While people inhabiting the ‘better’ districts are generally calm and reserved the residents of Zona Populares tend to be much more spontaneous We’re moving to a western and traditionally poorer part of the city to see how those people protest El Paraiso We’re in so-called Zona Popular, it’s called Paraiso It’s not a typical place for opposition, however there are many people in the streets, protesting Peopla are much more temperamental here than in cifrinos – the richer areas Get out, Maduro! Get out of you car, help us – this is a fight for all of us! Who are we? Venezuela! What do we want? Freedom! Just like Poland in the past, Venezuela is a victim of a totalitarian regime right now! (Jesus Armas, opposition politician) We’re here because we’ve been out of electricity for over 5 days now And out of water for over a week And we still will be for the next few days Despite that we will continue our battle for freedom and democracy in this country On our way home we noticed a group of people trying to get some water We stop by the bridge, close to a police unit, so it’s better not to use our huge camera

I’m using my GoPro The pipe here is leaking, so people with no other options are filling their buckets Some of them have been out of water at home for weeks or even months For the past 3-4 years there have been shortages in food supply Gas for people who use cylinders is rationed and very often doesn’t reach the needy We’ve lived without electricity since Thursday (it’s Tuesday) Some people’s household appliances burned because of power surges /when they switch the power on and off/ Who will pay us back? For a minimum salary /5 usd monthly/ we will never buy them back Because it’s enough to buy 2 kilograms of rice This is our reality We don’t talk badly about the government nor the opposition We just want somebody to wake up and solve these issues Since we’re humans And this is a violation of human rights I don’t know if you agree with me Or you’re too afraid to speak, no idea Are you scared to speak? There’s your chance to speak up Those of you who complain on waiting in lines Those who literally fight to get some water or gas Now is your chance Say what must be said! Thank you No, I should thank YOU “They switched off the light, but they’ll never switch off the hope” Venezuela – we’ll free you from the border patrolman and his drug-dictatorship (explanation in the description) To hell with oppression