The international media is having a bit of a field day with Maduro’s decision to give everyone all of Easter week off, to try to save power.
Partly this is a story about drought. Nearly 65 percent of Venezuela’s electricity comes from hydropower, and a lack of rainfall this winter has led to critically low water levels at its crucial Guri Dam. The massive El Niño in the Pacific deserves some blame here.
But the much bigger story here is that Venezuela’s socialist government has badly mismanaged the electric grid for years. Since 2000, the country has failed to add enough electric capacity to satisfy soaring demand, making it incredibly vulnerable to disruptions at its existing dams. Venezuela has been enduring periodic blackouts and rationing ever since 2009 — and there’s no sign things will improve anytime soon.
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