Venezuela malls scale back hours as government cuts energy

CARACAS, Venezuela – Shopping malls across Venezuela are preparing to dramatically reduce their hours to comply with a government electricity rationing order.

Venezuela’s socialist government says that starting Wednesday, more than 100 malls will have to close or generate their own power four hours each day, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Officials say the measure will help the economically embattled country cope with problems at hydroelectric plants due to a severe drought caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon

Malls have become a haven for Venezuelans as the country has become one of the most violent in the world. In many areas, they are also the only places to see movies.