6 blackouts in last 2 years, with the largest oil reserves in South America. Chavez pushes them to conserve by mocking/making fun of citizenry habits.
Due to water shortages, Chavez has restricted water supplies to rural areas. He has limited their showers to 3 minutes.
"The imensity of our oil reserves means nothing if we won't get it out of the ground." - Caracas business school professor
By Daniel Cancel and Matthew Walter
Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Venezuela's state power company worked to restore electricity after the third blackout of the year affected parts of the capital of Caracas and eight states in the central and western parts of the country.
Caracas lost power at 10:45 a.m. local time, and the states of Aragua, Lara, Guarico, Merida and Tachira were reporting problems, Venezuelan state television said. President Hugo Chavez said power should be restored nationwide this afternoon, in comments broadcast on television.
A spokesman at Petroleos de Venezuela SA, the state oil company, said the blackout didn't have an impact on the country's oil production or refining facilities. Venezuela is the biggest oil exporter in the Americas. The blackout was caused by a failure in a power line from the Guri hydroelectric dam, Chavez said.
``We're working to re-establish service,'' said Hipolito Izquierdo, president of the state power company, according to state news service Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias. ``There's no reason, from a technical point of view, for the outage.''
A nationwide power outage on a Sunday, when demand is low, is unusual, and authorities haven't discounted possible sabotage, he said.
The Venezuelan government is investing billions of dollars to modernize the country's electricity infrastructure to supply with increased demand.
No accidents, injuries or disturbances were reported after today's power failure, state television reported.
As of 1 p.m., power had been restored in 70 percent of Caracas, said Javier Alvarado, president of power utility CA La Electricidad de Caracas, in comments broadcast by state television. The power company was nationalized by the government last year.
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