Venezuela fights energy crisis with power cut

Apr 22, 2016, 6:04 AM EDT
Venezuela flag
(Source: Cristóbal Alvarado Minic/flickr)

Venezuela, reeling under a severe energy crisis, announced nationwide power cuts of four hours a day. The move comes in response to a drought that has limited the country’s hydroelectric output. The South American nation, which relies heavily on oil export for its revenues, is struggling with an economic slowdown even as oil prices tank globally.

While making the unpopular announcement in a televised address, Venezuela’s Energy Minister Luis Motta Dominguez said that the schedule of power cuts would be published in daily newspapers and on the ministry’s official website, writes the BBC. “It's necessary, it's a sacrifice”, he added. Earlier in February, the government had ordered shopping malls to shorten their operating hours in addition to producing their own energy.

It’s expected that the current power restrictions won’t be applicable to the crucial oil sector. Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro accused his political adversaries of conspiring with the U.S. to destabilize the country’s economy.

Venezuelan government neglected thermoelectric generation as an alternative source of power, thus leaving the country to suffer from a deepening energy crisis, said the opposition, notes Reuters. The media outlet also writes about a similar power cut in 2010 during the tenure of the late president, Hugo Chavez.