Venezuela blackout goes into second day closing schools and workplaces

Venezuela blackout goes into second day closing schools and workplaces”

By many accounts the blackout hit 22 of 23 states, and it struck the capital at the peak of the evening rush hour Thursday, sending thousands of people on long nighttime treks home through some of the world's most violent streets. Nothing and no one can beat the people of Bolivar and Chavez.

Blackouts are a daily occurrence across Venezuela, but one of this magnitude is rare.

The Venezuelan capital Caracas was in near-darkness on March 8, 2019 during the worst power outage in the country's history.

Critics of Venezuela's government blamed corruption and underinvestment, with opposition leader Juan Guaido - who declared himself the country's Acting President in January - describing the blackout as further proof that time is nearly up for Maduro.

Venezuelans struggling to put food on the table anxious that the few items in their fridges would spoil.

"The electrical war announced and directed by U.S. imperialism against our people will be defeated", Mr Maduro tweeted.

"Venezuela knows that the light will arrive with the end of the usurpation", he tweeted.

"They always say the same thing", said Carlos Ramos, an economist who was waiting to see a doctor outside the darkened lobby of a Caracas hospital.

"It is so sad every time this happens", said the mother of two. "To submit the Venezuelan people to various days without electricity to attack, to mistreat, so that vital areas would be without power".

However, the lights in one office building flickered on and then turned off.

Venezuela blackout goes into second day closing schools and workplaces

"Sabotage is stealing money", Guaido charged, turning Maduro's allegations back against him.

The outage comes as Venezuela is in the throes of a political struggle between Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido, the head of congress who declared himself the nation's rightful president in January and is recognized by the United States and about 50 nations. Guaido is acting as interim president until new elections are held, while Maduro refuses to schedule them.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro blamed the United States for waging an electric energy war against Venezuela, however, Washington denied having a role in the crisis.

Guaido took to Twitter to express his anger at the power failure.

Large lines formed at the few gas stations open as people fetched fuel for generators.

Power went out on Thursday afternoon due to a problem at Venezuela's main hydroelectric plant. Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez described it as a cyberattack on the dam's operating system which signals to machines whether to boost or diminish power based on capacity and demand.

The official went on to hint that US Senator and fierce anti-Maduro campaigner Marco Rubio may be linked to the offensive. "My bad", posted Rubio on social media. "No food. No medicine". It was not immediately clear if the power shortages affected oil operations in the OPEC nation.

High-ranking officials have been accused in US court proceedings of looting government money earmarked for the electrical system.

Pro-government officials often blame power outages on Venezuela's opposition, accusing them of attacking power substations with Molotov cocktails, though they rarely provide any evidence.

The government keeps home power bills exceptionally low - just a couple dollars a month - relying heavily on subsidies from the Maduro administration, with is under increasing financial duress.

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