Public sector to work only twice a week with Venezuela energy crisis

CCTV News

Public sector to work only twice a week with Venezuela energy crisis

Economic crisis and political instability remains in Venezuela. Adding to the shortage of food and medicine, Venezuelans face another shortage: access to public services.

CCTV America’s Michael Voss reports.

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Venezuela has become a land of lines, as people spend hours each day lining up in search of scarce food and medicines. But this queue is not for goods but services.

These are the law courts which now only operate for half a day on Mondays and Tuesdays. In a bid to save energy Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has placed all public sector employees on two day weeks.

Venezuela relies on a single hydroelectric plant for about two-thirds of its energy needs. But a severe drought has left water in the reservoirs at a critical level.

In late April the government introduced rolling blackouts throughout much of the country, blaming the El Nino weather pattern for producing such a long and severe dry spell. Critics, though, blame mismanagement.

Tensions are mounting across the country as frustrations at food shortages and blackouts spill over onto the streets. There are almost daily protests outside of supermarkets. While demonstrations calling for a recall referendum to remove President Nicolas Maduro are met with teargas and riot police.

El Nino has ended and rain may start to relieve the blackouts, but Venezuela’s political and economic crisis shows no signs of easing.