Venezuela Government Announces Periodic Electricity Shutdowns to Save Energy

light bulbIn case people have forgotten why it all but died in the first place, the argument for socialism just took another hit. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Venezuelan government announced on Thursday that they will be turning off the electricity in many homes across the country in an effort to save energy amid ongoing economic and institutional struggles.

The forced power outages, which will affect 10 of Venezuela’s 23 states, will occur for four hours every day for 40 days starting on Monday. The outage areas will affect many of the country’s largest cities, including the capital city of Caracas.

Luis Motta Dominguez, the country’s Electricity Minister, said that the temporary outages are necessary to preserve energy as the recent lack of rain has left the country struggling to create power. Approximately 65% of the country’s power is supplied from a hydroelectric dam in eastern Venezuela known as El Guri.

“With God’s help, the rains will come,” Motta said.

In addition to the electricity cuts, the government has already implemented measures such as creating three-day weekends and extending holidays for state workers to help decrease electricity use. Many businesses have already taken it upon themselves to close earlier, and the government plans to also move the clocks forward a half hour to increase the amount of daylight hours.

While many Americans are rightfully upset with the direction of and turmoils in the U.S., it’s important to keep perspective in the larger picture. In the U.S., approximately 57% of Americans over age 65 make time for regular trips or vacations, according to a 2014 Gallup poll. That number doesn’t fall below 46% for any demographic, even among younger generations. In Venezuela, however, many people are simply wondering where their next meal will come from.

“Who’s going to replace our food that goes bad after the light is turned off?” said Ana Gomez, a 39-year-old accountant in Venezuela. “Who’s going to guarantee me that it’ll be the four hours the government says it’ll be?”

Critics and political opposition parties have been quick to point out who they feel is to blame for the most recent circumstance.

“This demonstrates the government’s failure,” said Jorge Millan, an opposition lawmaker who heads the public finance commission. “With the electrical cuts, the citizenry is now paying for the corruption in the electricity sector, a fraud entailing billions of dollars.”