Venezuela turns back time

Hugo Chavez creates unique time zone in bid to boost productivity and health.

    Venezuela becomes the only complete country in the Western hemisphere to be on the half hour [File: EPA]

    Chavez said: "I don't care if they call me crazy, the new time will go ahead.
     
    "These children have to get up at five in the morning ... they arrive at school dead tired. And why? Because of our time."
     
    An affordable whim
     
    Fausto Maso, a political analyst, told Al Jazeera that it will be costly for Venezuela as it will mean computer and telecommunications adjustments, but it will be a cost the country can afford.
     
    Maso said: "It's a whim, but at least it is well intentioned. In an oil rich country like [Venezuela] you can do anything you want. You just have to say, 'do it'."
     
    But in Venezuela, large traffic jams mean hours waiting to get to work. Some doubt if a change of half an hour will make any difference.
     
    One resident said: "It does not mean anything to me. I will still wake up at dawn to get to my job on time. It is nonsense."
     
    It makes Venezuela the only complete country in the Western hemisphere to be on the half hour. The province of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada also follows the half hour.
     
    Only Myanmar, Afghanistan and India in the Western hemisphere are on a half an hour division.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.