Energy

Venezuela Blames ‘Enemies’ For Its Failure To Keep The Lights On, Threatens War

REUTERS/Pavel Rebrov

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter

Venezuela’s government is blaming the country’s energy blackouts, shortages, and overall electricity problems on unspecified foreign and domestic “enemies.”

“We have to understand, this is a war,” Luis Motta, Venezuela’s minister of electricity, declared in an interview on state TV Tuesday. Venezuela’s socialist president even gave the entire country a week off to reduce stress on the power grid caused by a government-created electricity crisis earlier this month.

Many of Venezuela’s factories are even installing diesel generators to cope with the outages.

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 the party’s critics cite a lack of maintenance and poor planning.

Venezuela regularly suffers rolling blackouts that can last for days since its socialist government took power in 2002. Independent analysis suggests the blackouts are causing serious economic damage to a country that is already on the verge of complete financial breakdown.

Venezuela’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, the nation is widely regarded as one of the most corrupt countries on Earth and has the world’s second-highest murder rate.

Venezuela has some of the Earth’s largest petroleum reserves, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration and is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Companies (OPEC) — but this hasn’t stopped the energy problems. Venezuela was even forced by its failing economy to accept shipments of American crude oil in February.

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 attempted to invalidate the election. The country’s government is extremely divided, but the president remains committed to socialist economic policies.

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