Lights Out in Venezuela

Despite huge oil and gas reserves, Venezuela lurches into a power crisis caused by years of infrastructure neglect

Angela Marquez should be pleased, considering the long line of customers at her paint store in the central Venezuelan city of La Victoria, an hour west of the capital of Caracas. There is only one problem: She can't ring up any purchases because the city is having another one of its frequent power blackouts. "This is completely ridiculous," Marquez fumes, as customers weigh whether to wait for the power to return. "It's impossible to run a business in conditions like this. And it's only getting worse."

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