In a news article titled "Blackouts Force Venezuelans to Live and Work -- Even Perform Surgery -- in Darkness," Gustavo Ocando Alex reports at the Miami Herald:
When the lights go out in their sixth-floor apartment yet again, the Molero family knows the drill. First, 27-year-old Marcos José Molero, a quadriplegic since birth, begins muttering swear words in his bedroom, angry that he won't be able to watch his favorite TV series or the latest Barcelona soccer game.
Then his father, Marcos José Molero Sr., drags sleeping mats into the living room -- "It's fresher in here," he said during a blackout last month -- so his son can find some comfort in the blistering darkness.
Next, the 56-year-old civil engineer takes turns with his wife laying wet towels on his son's body to help cool him so he doesn't get another heat rash on his legs and back. They know the apartment can quickly heat up to 95 degrees with no air conditioning.
And finally, as they sit in the dark, they play soothing music on a battery-powered radio. . . ."
"Blackouts in Zulia state, an area of northwestern Venezuela that includes the country's second-largest city of Maracaibo, have become commonplace in the last year," the Herald reports.
"Food and medicine were already increasingly scarce in Venezuela, but the power cuts that come without warning -- sometimes more than once a day -- are a new form of misery," the Herald states.
"The government has blamed the outages on a variety of things -- including pesky animals," according to the Herald. "In an Oct. 20 tweet, Energy Minister Luis Motta Dominguez named 'rats, mice, snakes, cats, squirrels' as possible culprits in shorting out lines. He added: 'In the list of animals mentioned above, of course iguanas are included.'"