The Americas

Venezuelan power rationing begins amid protests

  • In this Saturday, April 23, 2016 photo, a boy illuminates his home with a candle during a 24-hour blackout, in the El Calvario neighborhood of El Hatillo, just outside of Caracas, Venezuela. Energy rationing has been added to the hardships faced by Venezuelans overwhelmed by inflation, shortages of food and medicine and rising crime. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

    In this Saturday, April 23, 2016 photo, a boy illuminates his home with a candle during a 24-hour blackout, in the El Calvario neighborhood of El Hatillo, just outside of Caracas, Venezuela. Energy rationing has been added to the hardships faced by Venezuelans overwhelmed by inflation, shortages of food and medicine and rising crime. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Saturday, April 23, 2016 photo, residents are silhouetted against the facade of a church, the only building illuminated after a 24-hour blackout, in the El Calvario neighborhood of El Hatillo, just outside of Caracas, Venezuela. Energy rationing has been added to the hardships faced by Venezuelans overwhelmed by inflation, shortages of food and medicine and rising crime. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

    In this Saturday, April 23, 2016 photo, residents are silhouetted against the facade of a church, the only building illuminated after a 24-hour blackout, in the El Calvario neighborhood of El Hatillo, just outside of Caracas, Venezuela. Energy rationing has been added to the hardships faced by Venezuelans overwhelmed by inflation, shortages of food and medicine and rising crime. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Saturday, April 23, 2016 photo, residents make their way to a protest against energy rationing after going through a 24-hour blackout, in the El Calvario neighborhood of El Hatillo, just outside of Caracas, Venezuela. Energy rationing has been added to the hardships faced by Venezuelans overwhelmed by inflation, shortages of food and medicine and rising crime. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)

    In this Saturday, April 23, 2016 photo, residents make their way to a protest against energy rationing after going through a 24-hour blackout, in the El Calvario neighborhood of El Hatillo, just outside of Caracas, Venezuela. Energy rationing has been added to the hardships faced by Venezuelans overwhelmed by inflation, shortages of food and medicine and rising crime. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)  (The Associated Press)

As if daily life in Venezuela wasn't hard enough people across the country will now have to add electricity to their list of things they'll have to do without.

On Monday, President Nicolas Maduro's government beginning rationing power in 18 states for up to four hours a day in a bid to save energy until water levels stabilize at the nation's largest dam.

Even in Caracas, which is being spared the cuts, outages have become more frequent. Over the weekend residents in a poor neighborhood of El Calvario, on the city's outskirts, blocked roads to protest what they said had been 29 hours without service.

While Maduro blames saboteurs and the El Nino weather phenomenon for the outages, his opponents fault a lack of investment in the nation's power grid.