November 1, 2014 / 3:22 PM / 6 years ago

Venezuela to reconsider Chavez's change in time zone

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela is going to review its time zone, which has been out of kilter with the rest of North and South America since the late President Hugo Chavez changed it by half an hour in 2007.

President Nicolas Maduro on Friday ordered a review of the change, which moved the country’s clocks up to 4.5 hours behind Greenwich Meridian Time (GMT) from 5 hours behind GMT.

“It’s getting dark very early,” Maduro said during the inauguration of a government-built housing complex. “I’ve asked the vice president to review the issue of the time zone.”

Noting that it was 6:00 p.m. and already dark, Maduro said the country should be in a time zone that puts sunset between 6:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Chavez had said the new time zone would help poor school children who had to get up before dawn and walk long distances to class. His critics said he was making a whimsical change of little practical value. They noted he had also revamped Venezuela’s coat of arms and added an extra star to its flag.

Reporting by Corina Pons, writing by Brian Ellsworth; Editing by Larry King

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