Venezuela Power Crisis
Staying in South America, we turn attention to Venezuela... where the government is taking desperate action to tackle the country's energy crisis. Venezuela has instituted blackouts, or planned electrical outages, in cities across the country. Some employees have been reduced to working just two days a week.
President Nicolas Maduro also ordered clocks to be moved forward by half an hour on Sunday to reduce energy use.
It's the country's latest effort to save energy, amid a drought that has caused water levels to plunge at a hydroelectric dam that produces most of Venezuela's electricity.
Rafael Romo has more.
--REPORTER PKG-AS FOLLOWS--
ABOUT THE ONLY THING THAT CAN BE COUNTED ON AROUND THE CLOCK AT THE DIAZ HOME THESE DAYS IS THE GAS STOVE.
BUT THE FOOD IN THE FRIDGE IS SPOILING AND THE MICROWAVE OVEN SITS UNUSED.
THE TV SET IS DARK AND THE STEREO SYSTEM SILENT.
(Gustavo Diaz, Charavalle Resident) Están racionando la luz...
"WE'VE HAD ROLLING BLACKOUTS SINCE LAST MONTH," GUSTAVO DIAZ SAYS.
"WE USED TO LOSE POWER TWO HOURS IN THE MORNING AND TWO IN THE AFTERNOON, BUT NOW IT'S FOUR HOURS STRAIGHT."
WHEN CNN VISITED THE HOME IN THE CHARALLAVE DISTRICT OUTSIDE CARACAS, THE VENEZUELAN CAPITAL, TEMPERATURE WAS 34 DEGREES CELSIUS OR 93 FAHRENHEIT.
WITH NO POWER, TURNING THE AIR ON IS NOT AN OPTION.
(Nicolás Maduro, Venezuelan President) Despliéguese…
VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT NICOLAS MADURO DECREED NATIONWIDE ROLLING BLACKOUTS STARTING THIS WEEK AND FOR AT LEAST THE NEXT 40 DAYS.
THE COUNTRY, THE PRESIDENT SAYS, Is THE MIDDLE OF A POWER CRISIS BECAUSE WATER LEVELS AT THE DAM THAT PROVIDES 75 PERCENT OF VENEZUELA'S ELECTRICITY ARE AT RECORD LOWS DUE TO A SEVERE DROUGHT.
(Rafael Romo, reporter) The capital district in Caracas and some adjacent municipalities are exempt from the rolling blackouts because that's where federal government headquarters are located. Two states that heavily depend on tourism will not be affected either.
BACK AT THE CHARALLAVE NEIGHBORHOOD OUTSIDE CARACAS, JUST ABOUT EVERY BUSINESS DISPLAYS THE SAME SIGN.
"NO HAY LUZ," IT SAYS, "THERE'S NO POWER."
AT THIS PAINT STORE, OWNER LUIS MARCANO WIPES THE SWEAT OFF HIS FOREHEAD.
(Luis Marcano, Paint Store Owner) Vender algo…
HE SAYS THAT IN ADDITION TO THE BLACKOUTS, HIS BUSINESS HAS BEEN HIT BY AN ECONOMIC CRISIS THAT HAS KEPT CUSTOMERS AWAY, A CRISIS THAT HAS ALSO KEPT SOME OF HIS SHELVES COMPLETELY EMPTY.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN.
Online Reference Source: Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook, Venezuela
Website: Think Venezuela