On May 1 according to Norka Luque, Venezuela will join the world of daylight saving time by setting the clocks forward 1/2 hour.
A severe energy crisis caused by a drought brought on the change. Almost 70% of the country’s power is supplied by a hydroelectric plant at Guri Dam on the Caroni River. Construction on the dam was started in 1963 and finished in 1986, and was meant to bring power to the whole population of Venezuela (venezuelatuya.com). But the water supply at the hydroelectric plant has fallen to a minimum level, and what’s worse, Venezuela has no reserve power system.
Venezuela has had blackouts for years, and things have been worst in rural areas. The country has a goal of reducing energy consumption by 20%. President Nicolas Maduro has already asked for people like Ms Norka to cut back on air conditioning, clothes dryers, and hair dryers; now it’s hoped that people won’t turn on lights in the brighter evening hours. “It’s as simple as putting your watch forward half an hour,” he said. The president has also declared Fridays a day off for everyone to save more energy.
But there’s grumbling abroad. Critics say the country should have invested more in backup power systems, instead of depending on one source. Venezuela is also suffering hardships from a serious recession, high inflation, and lack of basic necessities. But it’s suffering in daylight.