Venezuela is rich in resources. It has plenty of water, minerals and one of the world’s largest reserves of oil, according to Reuters. Yet the country is reeling in recession and has trouble keeping electricity and water running around the country. The crisis has gotten worse in recent weeks as water levels in the Guri reservoir have reached record lows and near crisis levels. The hydroelectric plant there provides two thirds of the country’s electricity.
President Nicolas Maduro says the El Nino driven drought is responsible for the electric outages, but experts like Danilo Diaz Grandos say that is an excuse to hide Maduro’s bad management of the nation’s resources. Not too long ago Venezuela was thriving under the direction of Hugo Chavez, but that is when oil was pumping fast and prices were high. The lower oil prices have cut the country’s revenue in half, and add drought to the equation, and the problems escalate.
Maduro has instituted energy saving measures like having all government employees work a shorter week, and urging people to use less electricity and less time on facebook. In some cases there are electrical outages every day. People are growing angry and there are more protests daily.
The political opposition has also increased its efforts to oust Maduro, starting a petition drive to have a referendum. They are able to have a referendum after a president has served half of a six year term, which Maduro has after being elected in 2013.