Venezuelans lost half an hour of sleep on Sunday when their clocks moved forward to save power, as the country grapples with a deep economic crisis.
President Nicolas Maduro is the one who has initiated the time change. The time change order by the president is aimed at being part of the package measures to help the country be able to manage or rather put up with the acute shortage of electricity currently being faced in Venezuela.
Previously, the government had already ordered the rolling blackouts and also cut the working week to two days for the public sector.
According to President Maduro, the energy crisis in the Venezuela is solely attributed to the severe and prolonged drought.
He said the country’s hydroelectric dams are drying up due to the drought and this has greatly reduced their capacity to produce electricity for the nation. However, according to his critics, the power crisis is due to the mismanagement of the sector of energy.
To handle the power crisis, the government of Venezuela has also ordered the closer of schools on Fridays. Shopping malls have also not left out as they are also expected to only open and operate for only half a day besides also being expected to generate their own energy.
When the President Mr. Nicolas Maduro made Public the time changes, the Minister for Science and Technology Mr. Jorge Arreaza said that the use of electricity during the nigh-time for lighting and air conditioning was draining the national electricity grid at an alarming rate.
“It will be much simpler to have the clock move a head half an hour- for this will give us chance to squeeze out more juice from daylight, and it will not get dark so early,” said the Minister.
Despite the fact that Venezuela is an Oil-Rich state, it is currently amid a serious economic turmoil and crisis that is being attributed to the drop in worldwide oil prices. The woes of Venezuela are not only energy based, the country is also facing a serious shortage of supplies like basic goods and even food.
President Maduro has commented saying that the current situation in his country has been caused by what referred to as “economic war” against his government of a socialist nature that is being propelled by the country’s commerce elite and also the United States.
The Maduro administration is receiving fingers of blame form the opposition in the Congress. The Opposition in the congress took over the functions of the legislature in December and has made serious accusations against the President. The have said that his government is exhibiting lots of incompetence and also being in the lead in the mismanagement of the country’s economy.
The opposition has therefore sworn to kick Mr. Maduro out of power and out of office. They have already initiated their moves as they are already begun collecting signatures that are needed that are needed to kick him out of power.
The signatures will pave way for the organization of a referendum that will see the President Mr. Maduro impeached.
As by on Saturday, the opposition had said that they had gathered almost two million signatures which is typically 10 times the total amount of signatures needed by the electoral board of the country.
If the opposition is lucky enough and the board approves the signatures, the opponents will then be required to collect an additional four million signatures which will surmount to 20% of the voters. This will then allow the board to organize for the referendum.
The referendum will be successful if a greater or equal number of electorate that those who elected the president would have to vote in support of the recall.
It should be remembered that President Maduro took the lead in the 2013 election with 7,587,579 votes.
The economic situation in Venezuela has also seen the nation’s biggest brew maker “Polar” close down.
Polar is Venezuela’s company that is privately owned and it is responsible in the brewing of about 70% of Venezuela’s beer. In the region of Latin America, Venezuela is known to be the largest and highest consumer of the beverage made by Polar.
According to the giant brewer, “Polar”, the government of Venezuela has not released an adequate amount of dollars needed for the importation of melted barley which Venezuela does not produce locally.
However, the government is nonetheless also pointing fingers of blame to Polar accusing them of exaggeration of it dollar needs and also of being a victim of hoarding.
Polar has a total of about 10,000 employees who will be affected greatly by the stoppage.