Energy

Venezuela Shuts Down For A Week Due To Water/Power Crisis

REUTERS/Isaac Urrutia

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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Venezuela is giving the entire country a week off due to a government-created electricity and water crisis.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro will extend the Easter holiday by giving everyone an extra three days off work to save power and water, according to a Tuesday statement in a state-run newspaper. The extended Easter holiday is intended to reduce stress on the country’s power grid.

The government has been rationing electricity across the country for months as the hydroelectric-reliant country goes through a drought. The ruling socialist party blames the lack of water on global warming and “sabotage” by political foes, while its critics cite a lack of maintenance and poor planning.

Venezuela has suffered rolling blackouts which last for days since its socialist government took power in 2002.

Venezuela, a member of OPEC, has serious energy problems even though the country has some of the world’s largest petroleum reserves. Venezuela was even forced by its failing economy to accept shipments of American crude oil in February.

Venezuela’s oil-fueled economy is now on the verge of complete breakdown. The country’s inflation rate is more than 808 percent, according to Forbes, and the country’s economic czar doesn’t even believe in inflation. Venezuela is essentially bankrupt and faces massive shortages of food and many consumers products. To make things even worse, Venezuela is widely regarded as one of the most corrupt countries on Earth and has the world’s second-highest murder rate.

Venezuela’s socialist government was defeated in legislative elections for the first time in 17 years in December, but the country’s socialist-stacked Supreme Court has attempted to invalidate the election. The country’s government is extremely divided, but the president remains committed to socialist economic policies.

In 2015, Venezuela imported roughly 40,000 barrels a day from Russia, Nigeria and Angola. Venezuela was the 12th largest producer of crude oil in 2014, according to the Energy Information Administration.

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