Millions of Venezuelans have been left “without a drop of water” by a shortage sharpened by the series of massive blackouts since early March, which forced Nicolás Maduro to ration electricity and reduce working hours in the oil country.
Protest for lack of electricity and water
Cacerolazos and spontaneous protests after new blackout in Venezuela
“We have small children and we do not have anything to give them a drop of water to drink,” exclaimed María Rodríguez in Caracas.
Before the emergency, Maduro announced, in a radio and television network on Sunday, a plan of electric rationing “for 30 days”, during which he hopes to solve the problems of the failure that has unleashed a series of massive blackouts since March 7 in the country of 30 million inhabitants.
The announcement occurred on Sunday at the end of a series of spontaneous protests over the blackouts, several of which were repressed by the collectives, as the groups of armed civilians associated with the socialist government are known in Venezuela, according to protesters and NGOs.
Maduro, who usually blames the blackouts for sabotage, gave the green light to the civilian groups that back him to contain the protests he calls “violent guarimbas” to get him out.
The Chavez regime also decided “to suspend school activities and establish a daily workday until 2:00 p.m. in public and private institutions,” according to communication minister Jorge Rodríguez, in a statement read on government television.
The text did not specify for how long the reduction of working hours or the suspension of classes will be extended, although Maduro estimated that school activities could be restored “between Tuesday or Wednesday” of this week.
“We do not have water, we do not have electricity, we do not have internet, we do not have telephones, we are incommunicado, we have reached the worst we could imagine,” complained Joaquín Rodríguez to AFP.
The blackout collapsed the already deficient water supply. The scene is the same in many neighborhoods of Caracas. Whole families queuing and loading several drums and buckets to collect water from springs, broken pipes, gutters, from tankers or from the little that flows down the Guiare River.