After three major blackouts in three months, Venezuela says consumers will have to pay surcharges if they don't reduce their usage. Critics, like guest blogger Miguel Octavio, say that the government is placing the blame on others when it should place it on itself.
Venezuela withdrew its ambassador this week after Peru offered asylum to Chávez's political rival who faces corruption charges.
Allies of President Hugo Chávez won 17 of 22 races for governor in Sunday's local elections, but the opposition won the two most populous states.
In border states, Venezuelans say Colombian rebel groups extort monthly 'protection' money from businesses and ranchers.