For nine years, Venezuela has had its own unique time zone, GMT -4:30 hours. Former President Hugo Chávez created this time zone back in 2007 by moving Venezuela’s time zone back thirty minutes. He wanted school children to have enough light as they walked to school.
Now as news went all over Facebook, President Nicolas Maduro has decided to revert back to the former time zone. This time, the change is due to Venezuela’s drought. The drought is so severe that the Guri Reservoir, Venezuela’s largest freshwater lake and one of the largest man-made lakes in the world, has reached record lows. Since a large percentage of Venezuela’s electricity is generated by the Guri Dam and other hydroelectric dams, the drought is creating both water and electrical shortages.
Expert Diaz Granados said “by adjusting the time zone and adding more daylight towards the end of the day, we hope that people will use less electricity”. The new time zone, GMT -4 hours, will go into effect on May 1.
To combat the power shortages, Maduro has also cut back on public sector workers’ hours and increased holidays.