Venezuela Economy Literally Grinds To A Halt As Maduro Orders "Five Day Weekend" For Public Workers

Tyler Durden's picture

Just three weeks ago, the Venezuela socialist paradise gifted local workers with one extra day of rest each week when, as a result of the crippling economic crisis and collapsing power grid, president Maduro designated every Friday in the months of April and May as a non-working holiday in his desperate bid to save electricity as a prolonged drought pushes water levels to a critical threshold at hydro-generation plants. Never without a scapegoat, Maduro immediately blamed El-Nino for implementing the three-day weekend.

"This plan for 60 days, for two months, will allow the country to get through the most difficult period with the most risk," Maduro said on state television in early April. "I call on families, on the youth, to join this plan with discipline, with conscience and extreme collaboration to confront this extreme situation” of the drought blamed on the El Nino weather system.

As a reminder, the reason for the electrical rationing was the water content of Venezuela's Guri Dam, which supplies more than two-thirds of the country’s electricity. As The Latin American Herald Tribune wrote a month ago, the dam “is less than four meters from reaching the level where power generation will be impossible. Water levels at the hydroelectric dam are 3.56 meters from the start of a ‘collapse’ of the national electric system. Guri water levels are at their lowest levels since 2003, when the a nationwide strike against Hugo Chavez reduced the need for power, masking the problem."

Yesterday the water levels at Guri dam reached a record low of 241.67 meters, according to state power utility Corpoelec. If levels drop below 240 meters, the dam’s operator may be forced to shut down units at the plant that produces about 75 percent of the electricity that Caracas, the country’s capital and largest city, consumes.

(arrow shows where the water shoud be if the dam were operating at capacity)


Alas, since this plan was doomed to fail as the Venezuela economy would produce even less output as a result of the extended weekend, things went from comical to farcical overnight when the Venezuelan gift kept on giving, and the nation expanded the three-day weekend to five days, declaring a two-day work week for government workers, adding it was seeking international help to save its power grid amid a drought that threatens the capital’s main source of electricity.

The two-day work week, after the government added Wednesdays and Thursdays as non-working days to save more power, will last at least two weeks, President Nicolas Maduro said on his weekly program broadcast on state television. Schools will be closed on Fridays starting this week, he said.

“The public sector will work Monday and Tuesday, while we go through these critical and extreme weeks where we are doing everything to save the Guri,” Maduro said, referring to the giant hydroelectric dam that has become like a “desert.” The collection of electricity-saving measures have reduced Guri’s daily drop from 22 centimeters a day to 10 centimeters, he added.

As Bloomberg adds, Venezuela is requesting emergency international help from the United Nations for public works construction to help the country recover from an “extreme situation,” Maduro said. He called for “social peace” during the power crisis.

Meanwhile, Venezuelans, except those in the capital and some states, began to experience programmed four-hour rolling blackouts on Monday as a drought cripples generation at the Guri dam. According to the IMF, Venezuela's economy will contract 8% this year, after shrinking 5.7% in 2015. Considering hyperinflation in Venezuela is already running at over 700%,and now that the economy is effectively shut down, we will take the under.


Today's announcement follows another curious idea by Maduro when earlier this month he ordered the country’s time zone changed to save energy, reversing the decision by his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, to set back clocks 30 minutes in 2007 to ease daily predawn commutes for school children and the poor. Clocks will be moved forward a half hour May 1.

Looking forward, we doubt that the decision to expand the weekend from 3 to 5 days will be reversed any time soon (after all the initial 3-day weekend expansion was supposed to be temporary as well), and the most likely outcome is that in his next decree, Maduro will announce that public workers can just take a 7 day weekend, and no longer show to work. They will also receive a commesurate wage.

At that point, we assume, is when the Venezuela experiment in creating a socialist paradise finally concludes.

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BandGap's picture

Yes! Now we're talking. This guy is genius! Break out the Bud and the lawn chairs.

And he apparently can teach the Fed a thing or two about generating inflation. Truly a man of the people.


Haus-Targaryen's picture

This is the future of the United States, and quite likely the UK as well.  

Watch as the Anglo-American empire learns the lessons many others have learned in the past century.  

The Siren Song of Socialism is a beautiful one to hear, but those who enter never come out the same.  

Money Counterfeiter's picture
Money Counterfeiter (not verified) Haus-Targaryen Apr 27, 2016 7:02 AM

More cheap whores for the Zionist money counter fighters.

Maduro gets a vacation retreat offer he can’t refuse.

Gold all gone.


Goldman Sachs and Oppenheimer buy shit cheap, get laid, drunk, go back to NYC rich.

So fucking predictable.

Hookers, blow, cheap shit, fucking people over.  

MagicHandPuppet's picture

Oh, wow.  Not to be out done by a third world socialist, now Bernie is going to start promising his commie fans that they can have 5-day weekends too... for free!

NoDebt's picture

If you're a failing dictator it's historically been a very bad idea to give everyone long periods of time off to think about things and make plans.


Zero Point's picture

I reckon their dam got weather modified. Chemtrail plus HAARP. That said, an economy that relies solely on one fucking dam to produce power deserves to fail.

knukles's picture

So they've gone the American way. 
In the US governmental workers only work 2 days a week.  They just don't admit they're lazy, surly and unproductive.
Least the Vennies are honest about it.

+++ on the Chemtrail reference

BTW, great picture of El Leader with the word NO behind him.  The Fairy-Godmother of socialism brings the Null Set

LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD's picture
LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD (not verified) knukles Apr 27, 2016 8:12 AM


Works wonders on a country every time...

John Kich's picture

Obama will not finish his second term! Banned independent documentary reveals the truth. This will scare millions!

Four chan's picture



maybe sanders has a place down there in a smaller banana republic

Joe Mama 3's picture

I estimate 5 hours of work for every 40 hr week !!!!!!!!   Thats for fed state county city..........  etc !!!!!!!!!!  Must be nice !!!!!  I do have an old friend who is a Postmaster at a small PO in Deep East Texas. His standards and work ethic are are STELLAR compared to most on the Public Dole !!!!!!! I told him a few years ago, he should go to the VA and get on the Disability Gravy Train. He said he could'nt do that, cause it was wrong !!!!!!   Old School ethics and responsibility are still around, just in VERY small numbers !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nero_Hedge's picture

Have you ever actually worked in a government agency? It's not perfect, but it is nowhere near what you describe. Some people are lazy motherfuckers, it happens. Most of my coworkers take short lunches, often skip breaks, and are not paid nearly enough for the work they do though...if you're concerned about waste in the government, then I suggest you set your sights on the Fed and the Pentagon. The people barely making $20/hr for making sure our elderly, disabled and young aren't abused are hardly the problem.

mary mary's picture

YES I DID.  At that job, I once said to a coworker, "I'm all caught up". 

My coworker responded, "NEVER SAY THAT!  We don't get raises, so the only way we can keep with inflation is to get a promotion, and the only way to get a promotion is to become a manager, and the only way to become a manager is to get someone to manage, and the only way to get someone to manage is to say you have too much work and therefore need more staff to help you so you can get it done."

The entire Department worked that way.  I wouldn't be surprised if every Department in every government in every City, County, State, and Country worked that way.

CJgipper's picture

2 days a week?  You must be thinking of some other America.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Indeed, but Chavez made sure to take everyone's guns away years ago.

samjam7's picture

I happen to know this Caribbean Socialist utopia quite well and if Chavez didn't do one thing it is take away guns from the thugs he wanted to be armed. The place as most of Latin America is awash with guns, which also partly explains the ridiculous murder rate. I know it's not the gun that kills, but the person that pulls the trigger but it is an undeniably violent country. 

Last night street riots broke out in several cities and more and more supermarkets are being stormed for food, people are getting desperate and the constant energy blackouts of 4 hours every day may just be the lighting fuse to bring this whole thing down. Venezuelans have shown they can riot before in the early 90s and they can do again. The Question will be what the crony military officials do and if they chose to clamp down or flee with the stolen fortune to saver harbours...

LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD's picture
LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD (not verified) samjam7 Apr 27, 2016 10:07 AM

The sad thing is that people are so ignorant when it comes to economics that they riot for change, demanding all out government (communist/socialist) intervention - which is what screwed them up in the first place.  Same thing is happening in the U.S.  Government is destroying the economy, blaming businesses for it.  Morons jump on board the government/media line, demanding MORE government to "fix" this (government created) problem.

Four chan's picture

its suicidal, like those in favor of forced immigration here in the us, the invasion in europe, and the entire eu project. its like the masses have accepted some suicidal message and are acting against their own logical best interests. weird.

TruthHunter's picture

92,000,000 have 7 day weekends

Theonewhoknows's picture
Theonewhoknows (not verified) Haus-Targaryen Apr 27, 2016 7:03 AM

YES CIA did try their shit in Venezuela. BUT you just cannot put the whole economy failing on them. It is how socialism destroys the country. Politicians in Venezuela tried to paint their opposition to the West by simply copy pasting communist manifesto into their economy and this is the result. It is not a crisis IT IS A RESULT.  


Capitalism replaced feudalism and let people accumulate wealth and be lifted out of poverty by themselves - change their class/work/destiny. The free market capitalism does the best job - what we see now is CRONY CAPITALISM - which differs from socialism only with the % you need to give to the government of your stuff (socialism - you can't own shit, in crony capitalism they taxed the hell out of you so your financial mobility is in the gutter)... Venezuela's politicians simply can't fathom this truth and shift the blame. The other story is that this tactic is also used int he West with bankster and FED front lining the worst policies ever. Check 

gonetogalt's picture

As in most social disasters, (including the failing US), I suspect that they were pushed as much as they fell by their own actions.

'Own the weather by 2025' weather warfare white paper from years ago. Courtesy of the MIC.

Geoengineering in full swing globally.

I'm 500 miles or so East of Caracas. Stepped out at 3:00 AM the other morning and saw a broad chemtrail right over Georgetown, checked Flight Tracker and identified the plane as a 757 enroute Sao Paulo to Orlando direct. So the doctored fuel was loaded in Sao Paulo...

There are unprecedented droughts underway in a multitude of countries right now. This isn't El Nino, this is warfare.

Read a bit here...

Beware the Lamb!!!

Jonas Parker's picture

Checking the map, 500 miles east of Caracas puts you over your head in salt water

peddling-fiction's picture

Somewhere close to Trinidad and Tobago.

2big2save's picture

St Vincent probably? He wrote Georgetown.

peddling-fiction's picture

I noticed that, but check the map, it is a bit further than 500 miles due East to Trinidad and Tobago, but Trinidad is much closer to Georgetown. St. Vincent is way off to the NE.

Update: Saw a post by Gonetogalt and he lives somewhere in Guyana, (capital Georgetown).

However he is mistaken with the 500 miles to the East. It is much longer and it is towards the SE.

Anyways, interesting geography lesson.

CJgipper's picture

The CIA didn't vote for Chavez.  That's on the people who are now whining about the results.

Scuba Steve's picture

Nice definition summary.

IMO, there is only 1 group of people to go after to stop a lot of these imbalances from happening. You know, the group that supports both sides of the argument and profits from it.

A lot of the worlds people problems would go away if a certain group of people were eliminated in 1 swoop, covertly and with precision. 

skistroni's picture

I thought we, here in Greece, were 5-10 years ahead of the rest of the developed world. But Maduro is the real deal. We should be greatful to be able to see our future evolving in front of our eyes. Will this change the mentality of people? Very few I guess. 

Haus-Targaryen's picture

I would like to think the Greeks will start revolting before your electricity begins to get rationed.  

I love Greece. 

SomethingSomethingDarkSide's picture

Nobody makes a Molotov Cocktail and throws it at Riot Police like a Greek!  Chyea!

Ghordius's picture

I'd say that it's a difficult comparison. Venezuela used to be the country of "budgets don't matter, idiot, look at that oil"

now I'm missing a way to describe properly the Greek situation. I'd hazard a "damn, we have a budget, and it sucks". improvements welcome, long live Greece

CJgipper's picture

Greece has MILES of amazing beaches and resorts.  They have tourism, just like Venezuala has oil.  The question is whether they choose to protect the industry or not.

jus_lite_reading's picture

I'm going to vote for Bernie the Commie Socialist because he is going to do much better than Maduro-- Bernie promises everyone 7 day weekends!

orez65's picture

Laying off government workers will help their economy.

He is, finally, doing something correctly.

We should do the same in the US.

Four chan's picture

i would give the entire government one week off every quarter unpaid for 4 years and roll the savings into the entitlements and debt.

kenny500c's picture

Sanders always clarifies that he is not a socialist, but a democratic socialist (like Venezuala, right Bern, you old bolshevik)?

Ghordius's picture

a democratic socialist is one that says "follow me to the paradise of equality, and there is the exit door if you don't like it"

a non-democratic socialist is one that says the same... but that door is the re-education camp's, because only misguided idiots dislike paradise

long live... exit doors

meanwhile, long live equality... in front of the law, for example. a small bit of equality does not hurt too much, does it?

onewayticket2's picture

sadly, we'll see the democrats propose a 3 day weekend/4 day work week.  


just wait....

Nero_Hedge's picture

Why is that sad? Who the fuck decided that a week would have 7 days and we have to work 5 of them, the bible? A 5 day work week is not needed to maintain a sustainably high quality of life. If, however, you're trying to keep the poor stuck on a shitty work-spend-work treadmill that allows no time for inexpensive leisure and promotes selfish consumerism instead, then it makes sense.

Haus-Targaryen's picture

This was excellent.  I am going to steal this. 

Lockesmith's picture

Does the exit door include not being robbed in taxation?

Ghordius's picture

depends on the exit door. some lead to no taxation whatsoever, but the price for it is often no roots (or few roots) or legal constructs of varied value

I have three friend that never stay in any country long enough to be taxed. but they don't visit Venezuela and an increasing list of countries

lakecity55's picture

Fuck Bernie!

Maduro for El Presidente!

Let's get the ball rolling!

youngman's picture

Well in Socialism the workers really do not have to stand in line for 4 hours for some idiot socialist to stamp some form for you....

de3de8's picture

Nothing like all your eggs in one basket

FrankieGoesToHollywood's picture

Finally! A leader only willing to pay a gov worker for what they are worth!

Michigander's picture They still get full pay.

BandGap's picture

Two rolls of Charmin and a carton of smokes a week. Life is good.

lakecity55's picture

Wait, you forgot to count the butchered neighbors in the cooler! Plenty of food!

mygameon's picture

I missed the rate of $0 for each government employee.  Otherwise, complete wealth and productivity suckers.