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Breaking News Venezuela: viaduct collapses

By Miguel Octavio

19.03.06 | There are two things that dominate this Government: Ignorance and Politics. Ignorance because people who have no clue about a field are appointed to positions to make decisions that require technical knowledge and know how, but the revolution believes that anyone can do anything. Politics because this is the number one priority of the revolution: Never say something which may go against the official line, lie until you can and then simply lie again claiming you never said what you said.

This way of running the Government has been quite evident in the way the Chavez administration has handled the problem of the viaduct of the Caracas-La Guaira highway. For months and years experts had been telling the Governmnet they were going to have to shut it down. The Government denied this was possible, claiming that the work being done was sufficient to stop the bridge from becoming useless. On December 22nd. the School of Engineers of Venezuela said that the viaduct was in danger of buckling. The Government denied this was the case, Chavez said it was all the media blowing it out of proportions. Then, on January 5th. the Government was forced to shut down the viaduct, essentailly closing one of the most important access roads to the capital of Venezuela.

Even then Government officials said the problem could be solved, they were working on it. In fact this official line has been defended until today, while experts continue to say almost daily that the viaduct could collapse. Only yesterday, the man in charge of the viaduct at the Infrastructure Ministry denied that it could collapse, saying that in fact the mountain pushing the viaduct was moving slower, that they continued working on fixing it and on Tuesday they would hold a meeting to decide on the alternatives to fix it.This was in response to the main headline of pro-Government paper Ultimas Noticias yesterday which said "The Viaduct will collapse".

Today, the viaduct collapsed.

(Pictures taken from the TV)

As I write the Vice-Minister of Infrsatructure is saying on TV this was all expected.

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