Minister of Electrical Energy Luis Motta Dominguez gave a press conference today in which he announced the government’s newest initiative to tackle the country’s electricity shortage. Dominguez said that starting on Monday, the entire country’s electrical grid will shut down for four hours a day. The measure is only expected to last 40 days.
Dominguez justified the measure by saying:
It’s necessary to take this measure since [people] aren’t conscientiously saving energy. We have to save the dam [levels] until the [rainy season] comes.
Dominguez said that the rationing would end once the Guri dam’s water level is observed to begin rising. The Guri dam provides approximately 60% of the country’s electricity.
Typically, the rainy season in Venezuela starts after May 15.
Dominguez explained that depending on location and demand, electricity will be cut between 12:00AM-4:00 AM, 4:00AM-8:00AM, 8:00AM-12:00PM, or 12:00PM-4:00PM. Dominguez stressed that power would never be deliberately cut between 8:00PM-12:00AM.
Seven MUD Deputies Chained to CNE Building
Earlier today, seven MUD deputies chained themselves to a staircase inside the offices of the Consejo Nacional Electoral [National Electoral Council] (CNE) in Caracas to demand that the head of the body, Tibisay Lucena, finally approve the paperwork requesting that the recall referendum process against Maduro officially begin.
Although the MUD has submitted the required paperwork four times since March, the CNE has yet to begin the process.
MUD deputy Juan Requesens, who led the demonstration, said:
We will remain chained here until they give us an answer. They won’t just ignore us [“no se van a hacer los locos con la planilla”].
Deputy Requesens is joined by deputies Milagros Valero, Maria Beatriz Martinez, Jose Mendoza, Milagros Paz, Marcos Bozzo and Conrado Perez.
Requesens also spoke on the important of starting the recall process as soon as possible, saying:
Mothers, grandmothers, our children — they are all tired. This crisis can’t go on, and the answer rests in Tibisay Lucena’s hands. With the support of the [rest of] the deputies, we’re staying here.
Below, images of the deputies chained to the staircase:
State security forces responded to the demonstration en masse, and eventually succeeded in having the seven deputies removed from the building.
Below, a video showing the moment the deputies were removed from the CNE offices:
Reporter: The deputies from the Mesa de la Unidad have already come out of the [CNE building]. They were escorted out by a group of National Guard [soldiers]. There are still pro-government protesters in the area around the building, and they’ve thrown some objects [at the deputies]. The deputies went out from another exit surrounded by National Guard officers.
The image below shows the moment a National Guard officer began the process of removing the deputies from the building:
Polar Plans to Stop Producing Beer Due to Lack of Resources
Polar Enterprises, the country’s largest privately owned food producer, announced today that it would no longer make its ubiquitous Polar beer starting on April 29. The reason: the company only has enough ingredients to produce beer until that day, and the government has yet to approve currency exchange requests for it to purchase and import more ingredients.
In other words, even if the government approved the company’s exchange requests today, Polar would not be able to buy and import the necessary materials in time to stop beer production.
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