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Venezuelan Electricity Crunch Widens

Today, the Venezuelan government announced its electricity rationing plan will now include power outages across the country. The directors of the National Electric Corporation were scheduled to explain how the power outages will be distributed in each region of the country at a press conference this morning, according to Electricity Minister Ángel Rodríguez.

“We hope that there will be enough information given to minimize any problems that might occur,” said Rodríguez. The electricity rationing plan announced last week also involves a shorter workday for public employees to reduce energy use and mandates businesses, malls and residential centers to draft an obligatory plan to reduce energy consumption.

The catalyst for the electricity crunch is the Guri dam, the hydroelectric plant that generates 70 percent of Venezuelan energy. It uses waters from the Caroní River in the state of Bolívar, which are below their usual level. The proposed plan is expected to allow the country to deal with the next five months of drought.

The opposition maintains that this crisis is proof of the inefficiency of the Chávez administration, and its lack of necessary investments in the energy sector over the past 11 years.

Any opinions expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect those of Americas Quarterly or its publishers.
Tags: energy, Venezuela, President Chavez

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