Venezuelans took to the streets Saturday to protest an ongoing lack of electricity and clean water, and to demand Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro consider stepping down, accusing the Venezuelan dictator of “wrecking the economy,” according to Reuters.
Power has been unreliable across Venezuela for years, but the situation has degraded markedly in recent weeks after a power station tied to one of the country’s major hydroelectric dams stopped working, plunging parts of the Venezuelan capital city of Caracas into regular blackouts. Although engineers have attempted to fix the situation, the grid had reportedly been so neglected over the last several decades that restoring full electricity to Venezuelans is not only difficult, it may be dangerous.
WIRED reported several weeks ago that the dead grid would have to be “jump-started,” but that such a move might cause more even more damage, since Venezuela’s aging grid is unlikely prepared to handle the sudden power surge that would rock the system.
Just last week, Maduro instituted mandatory rolling blackouts, allowing citizens of Caracas to use power only in short bursts for the next 30 days, but that made the situation even worse; the power outages have stopped the water pumps that deliver clean water to neighborhoods surrounding Caracas, and the brief, intermittent power bursts are not enough to bring the pumps up to full speed. – READ MORE