|A new wave of power outages in Caracas left many parts of Venezuela’s capital city in the dark last week and authorities scrambling to get the power back on.
Power outages have been a recurring issue for the country, with the last major outage taking place this past June during a presidential ceremony. The country-wide blackouts not only interrupted the ceremony, but also forced transit to shut down until the situation was repaired.
Venezuela’s large-scale blackouts show how a power outage can bring an entire country to a stop, disrupting daily business practices and even causing important information to be lost forever. Nearly 70% of businessmen have lost (or will lose) data as the result of system failures, fires, deletion, viruses or other disasters — in this case, power outages.
Many blame the frequent blackouts on the nationalization of the electricity sector several years ago, while President Nicolas Maduro has accused his adversaries, saying they are trying to sabotage his presidency. Regardless of the cause, the power outages come at a time when the country is already struggling to get by.
The Venezuelan oil industry, which accounts for a whopping 95% of the country’s export profits, has taken a turn for the worse over the last couple of month’s with oil prices dropping dramatically, according to Business Insider. Officials’ requests to cut oil production were denied at a recent OPEC meeting.
With the nation’s oil profits declining, many citizens are fearing that Venezuela may be plunged into financial crisis. The risk of financial turmoil is especially great since officials refuse to cut spending from other areas, including its extensive social programs and Petrocaribe oil program, that guarantees oil to neighboring countries at a great discount. Increasing the price of oil for Venezuelans is also a touchy subject.
With seemingly little room for negotiation, officials will continue to search for ways to get the country back on track while keeping intact its current initiatives. How difficult or long a process that will be remains a mystery, but if officials don’t take action, the country may never get out of the dark.