Electricity to the Rationed, with 4-Hour Blackouts Starting Next Week

Venezuela's government says it will turn off electricity nationwide for four hours each day, starting next week. It is the latest in a series of extreme measures to combat an energy crisis. Electricity Minister Luis Motta says that the aim is to stabilize water levels at the Guri Dam, which supplies most of the country’s electricity. He calls on Venezuelans to buckle down and show their “patriotism.” Meanwhile, vast areas of Caracas report electricity blackouts already, even though the capital city was excluded from the 4-hour-a-day rationing program. 

The Financial Times says that analysts believe chronic power shortages in Venezuela could soon upset the global oil sector, with output declining 100,000-200,000 barrels per day this year. Meanwhile, an AP report says, “Maduro's socialist administration blames the crisis on a drought caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon and acts of sabotage by its opponents. Experts say a lack of investment in infrastructure is more to blame.”