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Maduro declares electricity ‘emergency’ and calls the Army in support

Thursday, April 25th 2013 - 06:00 UTC
Full article 9 comments
Blackouts and brownouts became quite common in Venezuela since Chavez nationalized the electricity sector  Blackouts and brownouts became quite common in Venezuela since Chavez nationalized the electricity sector

President Nicolas Maduro's government declared a 90-day “emergency” in Venezuela's electricity sector this week to speed up infrastructure work and equipment imports needed to prevent politically-contentious power cuts.

Officials have blamed periodic blackouts on sabotage and excessive consumption, while critics say the sector is suffering from poor management and inefficiency following the late popular leader Hugo Chavez's nationalization of the sector.

Maduro, who won a vote to succeed his former mentor Chavez this month, has promised a government of “efficiency” to tackle day-to-day problems like power outages plaguing the 29 Venezuelans, especially in the provinces.

A decree in the official Gazette ordered state power company Corpolec to adopt “all technical and economic” measures necessary to maintain electricity services, and authorized the army to guard key installations against “vandalism and attacks.”

Power rationing has returned to some states, reviving memories of a prolonged crisis in the sector in 2010 that weighed on Chavez's popularity at the time.

Saying Venezuela now had the highest per capita consumption in Latin America Maduro has announced a new national “Electricity Mission” to stabilize the sector.

“If we don't balance this investment in generation with more rational use of energy, it's difficult to keep a system like this stable,” said his newly appointed Electricity Minister Jesse Chacon, explaining the measures and calling for a nationwide electricity-saving drive.

Top Comments

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  • Anglotino

    Here's a hint: user pays!

    Best way to reduce electricity consumption.

    Apr 25th, 2013 - 09:08 am 0
  • reality check

    2.5 million barrels of oil produced a day, puts them 11th just behind Kuwait.

    Contrast the difference between the two, says it all really.

    Apr 25th, 2013 - 10:10 am 0
  • Conqueror

    “sabotage and excessive consumption”. Ha ha ha ha ha. Look, that fuse blew. Sabotage! Switch that light off. It's excessive. You want hot water? Start a fire in your backyard. Don't worry that the traffic lights aren't working. You have a 50/50 chance of getting through alive. Going out tonight? Take a torch and spare batteries. Going down the bar or club? Take your own candles. It's “romantic”. And watch out for the army. They may take your batteries. Or your torches. Or your candles. Do the reasonable thing. Set fire to an oil refinery. Or a well. Or a government office.

    Apr 25th, 2013 - 11:44 am 0
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