The capital of 'the most miserable country in the world' could be about to go dark

Linette Lopez
Venezuelans on Anti-Maduro Protests
Venezuelans on Anti-Maduro Protests


The capital of Venezuela, Caracas, could be about to go dark.

The problem is Caracas' power source. According to Bloomberg, the Guri Dam, a hydro electric power plant, has seen its water levels dip precipitously low. An engineer who managed the plant in the 1980s said there could be rolling blackouts in Caracas by late April.

"At the current rhythm, the minimum level to operate the 8 turbines could be reached by April 30," Cesar Cardozo told Bloomberg. "That date could be extended into May if more severe rationing is implemented."

See photos of the city from previous blackouts:

Rationing in all aspects of Venezuelan life has already been severe for years. Citizens wait in long lines for everything from toilet paper to corn meal. Some, including Johns Hopkins professor Steven Hanke, calculate inflation at near 300%. That is why Hanke dubbed Venezuela "the most miserable country in the world."

Power

The electricity crisis is so bad, that President Nicolas Maduro gave the country an additional three days off over Easter to conserve energy.

In true Venezuelan government fashion, however, the country's leadership is blaming their political opposition for this issue.

Electricity minister Luis Motta Dominguez pointed out earlier this month that protests started around the time when the electricity system started showing signs of weakness.

"What ... a coincidence, no," he said. "A plan was put in place."

Of course major protests against the Nicolas Maduro's socialist government have been drawing massive, sometimes violent, crowds since 2014.

In recent elections, Maduro's party lost control of the legislature, and yesterday it passed legislation giving amnesty to jailed political prisoners from over the years — the most famous of them being Harvard educated politician, Leopoldo Lopez.

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