Chavez calls off Caracas blackouts, sacks minister

Chavez called off drastic energy rationing in Caracas after a chaotic first day of staggered blackouts.

Chavez calls off Caracas blackouts, sacks minister

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez called off drastic energy rationing in Caracas after a chaotic first day of staggered blackouts, but the measures will continue across the country.

Chavez asked for the resignation of Electricity Minister Angel Rodriguez over the badly planned roll-out of the cuts left people stuck in elevators and schools without power.

"To rectify is the way of the wise. I don't want to affect anybody, I have ordered the suspension" of the cuts indefinitely, Chavez said in a late night call to a talk show on state television on Wednesday.

Chavez said some people had suffered two cuts in one day on Wednesday, instead of the rolling four-hour cut that had been planned to hit each neighborhood once every two days.

The rationing, which has also been applied to water, is intended to sharply reduce power consumption as the OPEC nation suffers a severe drought caused by the EL Nino weather anomaly.

Water levels at the giant El Guri dam in the south of the country are at dangerously low levels, officials say, and the country risks a catastrophic loss of power if they keep falling.

Other parts of the country, including oil city Maracaibo, will so far still be subject to the rationing.



Reuters


Last Mod: 14 Ocak 2010, 14:37
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