A Major Time Shift Effective in Venezuela on May 1st

In order to help Venezuela’s energy needs, President Nicolás Maduro is reversing a legislation enacted by former President Hugo Cháves. President Maduro recently announced that Venezuela will go back to the old time system before former President Cháves turned Venezuela’s clocks back 30 minutes in 2007. Cháves made this change to allow students to go to school with the light out. President Maduro feels reverting back to the old time system can alleviate the country’s energy problems.

This time shift will put Venezuelan time four hours behind GMT.

The main issue with Venezuela’s energy at the moment as David Osio has discussed, has to do with a massive drought in the Guri reservoir. The Guri reservoir is located in Bolívar State on the Caroni River and its dam provides about two-thirds of Venezuela’s energy needs.

Jorge Arreaza, the science minister in Maduro’s cabinet, reasoned that the “…extra half-hour of sunlight will allow a better electricity saving because it is at night when people return from work and schools that they turn on lights and air-conditioning.”

Some people including David himself are skeptical that this measure will work to combat the energy problems facing Venezuela at the moment. Many cite a lack of proper governmental planning and overreliance on the Guri Dam for energy needs.

Either way, this time change will go into effect on May 1st. Both citizens and travellers to Venezuela should be aware of this time shift.