Venezuela to take steps to reduce blackouts

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CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela's government has enacted "an emergency decree" allowing the largest state power utility to sign agreements with domestic and foreign companies to help improve electricity service.

Vice President Jorge Arreaza says Corpoelec will seek assistance from private companies to build infrastructure and provide services. He says the initiative will increase Corpoelec's power-producing capacity.

Blackouts are common throughout Venezuela.

Officials have accused government foes of sabotaging the power grid, but Arreaza conceded on Tuesday that the system is plagued by problems. He did not provide details

Government opponents say the system is failing due to lack of investment.

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