October 21, 2019
Latest News

Besides electricity, what else does Venezuela lose in a blackout?

By Hector Pereira

Caracas, Apr 20 (efe-epa).- Every time there's a blackout, Venezuelans know they have lost much more than the light in their light bulbs, because there's also no telephone service, no Internet connection, no pumping of drinking water, no more of many things that make life easier.

Power outages have been common in regions far from Caracas for many years, but since they have become more frequent and prolonged everywhere in Venezuela, the petroleum-producing nation loses some $500 million every day that productive work is suspended by the government, according to estimates of the National Assembly legislature.

But beyond the money, there are many other elements disrupted by the ongoing electricity crisis that began last March 7:

- Water

Though the majority of Venezuelans can't be sure of having running water every day, the pipelines go from wet to dry when a blackout strikes and it is impossible to turn on the pumps that get water to the communities.

Millions of Venezuelans go down to nearby rivers and springs to get the water they need to wash themselves or clean their houses, while others try to fill containers with the scant rainfall.

After the power cuts of recent weeks, the government has set up water distribution points and water wagons, an option that some citizens pay for out of their own pockets at prices sometimes exceeding $200.

- Internet

Almost all Venezuelans use local Internet providers, which collapse during the blackouts that can last 24, 48, or more than 72 hours.

Non-government organizations estimate that since March 7, on at least five occasions, 90 percent of Venezuelan Internet users have been disconnected by electricity cuts.

Never sure of success, citizens go to specific points in their cities where they are most likely to receive a signal, however weak, that will allow them to use social networks or to communicate on WhatsApp.

- Telephone

Once the source of power has been interrupted, it becomes an uphill job to make a telephone call. Home devices keep working for several hours but only for short-distance calls.

The functioning of mobile phones in such cases is almost null and void, and having a little luck depends on the area and the amount of time the batteries will last.

- Transportation

With thousands of buses paralyzed for lack of replacement parts, the few that continue operating are packed with passengers, while most people are forced to walk kilometers (miles) during the untimely power outages.

Car-owners can spend hours waiting in line to fill up their tanks at the few gas stations still open.

In the case of Caracas, when the underground subway suddenly goes out of action, the hundreds of thousands of people who use it daily have to go upstairs to the sidewalk and the collapse is all the more visible.

- Food

In a country where the availability of consumer goods is dwindling, and whatever is available is very expensive for most people, losing a kilo (pound) of meat due to a lack of refrigeration is a cause for concern.

- Banking

During blackouts, banks stay closed, the ATMs don't work, and without the Internet, there's no more online banking.

- Education

Students miss classes because of power cuts in their communities, or for the lack of water, transportation, or for any other problem of the crisis.

- Health

Problems in the health system, such as the scarcity of medicines, only get worse when there's no electricity. And forget doctor appointments and elective surgery, forget operating rooms and emergency rooms, none are available until the lights come on.

News history
Tesla stock has risen this month as its 3rd-quarter numbers approach

By David Marino-Nachison

Australian Navy begins sea trials of 3rd air warfare destroyer

Sydney, Australia, Sep 16 (efe-epa).- Australia has begun the first phase of sea trials of its third and final Air Warfare Destroyer, the Department of...

Nissan Motor CEO steps down in the wake of bonus scandal

Tokyo, Sep 16 (efe-epa).- Hiroto Saikawa stepped down from his post as chief executive officer of Nissan Motor on Monday and has been replaced by Yasuhiro...

Trump says US is "locked and loaded" to respond to attack on Saudi oil

Washington DC, Sep 15 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States on Sunday warned that his administration was "locked and loaded" to respond to a recent...

Nissan CEO steps down over bonus scandal

Tokyo, Sep 9 (efe-epa).- Nissan Motor's CEO, Hiroto Saikawa, will step down on 16 September on the back of an investigation into over payments the executive...

Volkswagen to pay multi-million-dollar settlement over 'dieselgate' Australia

Sydney, Australia, Sep 16 (efe-epa).- German car giant Volkswagen has agreed to pay millions in compensation to those affected by its diesel emissions...

General Motors braces for first nationwide strike in 12 years

Washington DC, Sep 15 (efe-epa).- The United Automobile Workers trade union on Sunday called for a nationwide strike of 48,000 employees at General Motors,...

Mexico seeks to topple Brazil's Volkswagen Guinness World Record

Puebla, Mexico, Sep 15 (efe-epa).- The Mexican state of Puebla over the weekend attempted to take the Guinness World Record for the most Volkswagen vehicles...

Argentina's gov't to present new budget amid economic woes

Buenos Aires, Sep 15 (EFE).- Finance Minister Hernan Lacunza will present the proposed 2020 budget to the Argentine Congress this week, a budget that will...

World's biggest oil producer reduces output by 50 percent after Saudi attacks

By Suleiman al-Assad

Battle to power electric vehicles reaches Sweden

By William Boston

Are central banks losing their clout?

By Randall W Forsyth

Ecotourism, the answer to Latin America's rural development needs

By Maria Jose Brenes

Havana-based cigar maker says it doesn't foresee Helms-Burton lawsuits

Havana, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- Habanos S.A., a Spanish-Cuban joint venture that is a leading maker of Premium cigars, said Friday it does not believe it is at...

US pledges to increase trade with Brazil, without mentioning bilateral deal

Washington, Sep 13 (efe-epa).- US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promised his Brazilian counterpart here Friday that exchanges of goods and services between...

Mexicans make drinking straws from reeds to curb use of plastic

Jose de Jesus Cortes

London, Sep 13 (EFE).- The London Design Festival returns this weekend to the British capital with events and facilities bringing together the best of the...

China exempts US soy, pork products from tariffs ahead of US negotiations

By Paula Escalada Medrano.

Vaping giant Juul Labs debates pushing back on US' new ban on e-cigarettes

By Jennifer Maloney

Trump's plans for oil drilling in Arctic refuge clear big hurdle

By Timothy Puko

IMF: US-CHINA TRADE WAR STARTING TO WEIGH ON GLOBAL ECONOMY

Washington, Sep 12 (efe-epa).- The International Monetary Fund said Thursday that the trade war between the United States and China is already triggering a...

Argentina’s obsession with the dollar, a vicious circle amid a crisis

By Rodrigo García

New tariffs applied on Chinese imports to the US

Beijing, Sep 12 (efe-epa).- China's Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council has postponed the planned 25 percent tariffs on 16 products from the...

EU's top diplomat visits Mexico to boost trade agreement

By Eduard Ribas i Admetlla

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.