Socialism for the 21st Century:
Despite its massive crude-oil reserves, Venezuela relies on water-powered electricity, according to International Energy Agency data. PresidentNicholas Maduro said the extended-holiday power cut was necessary after the nation’s energy minister pointed to critically low water levels at an important dam.
Maduro is taking a page from former President Hugo Chavez, circa 2010, when drought prompted another five-day Easter vacation to curtain power demand. Similarly in that year, government opponents said mismanagement and under-investment in the power grid was at the root of the problem, Reuters reported at the time.
President Nicolas Maduro gave everyone an extra three days off work next week, extending the two-day Easter holiday, according to a statement in the Official Gazette published late Tuesday. Maduro had originally said over the weekend that the extended holiday would only apply to state employees.
The government has rationed electricity and water supplies across the country for months and urged citizens to avoid waste as Venezuela endures a prolonged drought that has slashed output at hydroelectric dams. The ruling socialists have blamed the shortage on the El Nino weather phenomena and “sabotage” by their political foes, while critics cite a lack of maintenance and poor planning.
and barring a sudden (not to mention large) spike in crude prices, the country will in all likelihood default this year as 90% of oil revenue at current prices must go towards debt service payments.