Chavez suspends power cuts in Caracas
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Last Updated: Friday, January 15, 2010, 00:16
Caracas: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has ordered the suspension of power blackouts in the capital, saying they were having "undesirable effects" on an angry and confused population.

Chavez also called for the resignation of his newly appointed energy minister, Angel Rodriguez.

The government announced sweeping power cuts Tuesday across wide swathes of Caracas, as well as the whole country, amid a drought-driven energy crisis.

"I have noticed that there have been undesirable effects from the planned cuts announced Tuesday," Chavez told state television VTV in comments aired early today.

"I want to tell the people that, only in Caracas, have I ordered a suspension to the power cuts," the leftist president said, adding that he had made his decision shortly before one of the cuts was to begin at midnight yesterday.

"The government must be able to recognise and correct errors in time.... Mistakes have been made on a technical level, poor decisions have been made and therefore I assume responsibility."

The power cuts would continue as planned throughout the rest of the country.

Venezuelans, who already face water supply cuts that can last up to 48 hours a week, reacted with anger and confusion Wednesday as the government's power-saving campaign kicked in.


First Published: Friday, January 15, 2010, 00:16

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