Over the past three years, Venezuelans have seen shortages of food, water, toilet paper and medicine. In some areas of the country, electricity has been curtailed. Now, the lights may go out in the nation’s capital. A prolonged drought blamed on the El Nino weather system has dropped water levels to a critical threshold at the Guri Dam, the hydroelectric plant that supplies Caracas with most of its electricity.
Without rain, there could be rolling blackouts in Venezuela’s largest city by the end of April, said Cesar Cardozo, a retired engineer who managed turbines at the facility in the 1980s. If so, it could further erode confidence in the three-year-old government of President Nicolas Maduro, according to the Eurasia Group, a global research and consulting firm. In 2015, the country’s economy — largely dependent on the sale of oil — contracted by 10 percent and is expected to shrink by an additional 6 percent this year. READ MORE