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Venezuela Hit by Massive Power Blackout


A massive power cut has plunged Venezuela into darkness, with the capital Caracas among the areas affected.

It is believed at least 18 of Venezuela’s 23 states have lost power.

Information Minister Jorge Rodrigues claimed the power cut was caused by an “electromagnetic attack” and officials were working to restore power.

Earlier this year, Venezuela was hit by a series of power cuts, including one that affected all 23 states and lasted a week, leading to shortages and riots.

Another outage in April plunged large swathes of the country into darkness; however, that lasted hours rather than days.

Sporadic blackouts are common in Venezuela, where the economy has collapsed amid a political crisis.

President Nicolás Maduro and other state officials have in the past blamed “terrorism” and opposition sabotage, often alleging US involvement.

The opposition has said the power cuts are the result of years of corruption and underinvestment.

Image source Anadolu Agency

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Venezuela’s state-owned power company Corpolec earlier reported that a breakdown had only affected parts of Caracas.

Opposition leader Juan Guaidó and President Nicolás Maduro have been at loggerheads since January, when the former invoked the constitution and declared himself interim president.

Juan Guaidó argued that the elections which had returned Nicolás Maduro to power for a second term in 2018 had not been free and fair.

Since then, more than 50 countries, including the US and most nations in Latin America, have recognized Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate leader.

However, Venezuela’s military – a powerful force in the country – and influential allies such as China and Russia have stuck by Nicolás Maduro.

An attempt by Juan Guaidó to get the military to switch allegiance to him failed, and Venezuela remains in limbo with both men claiming to be the legitimate president.

Meanwhile, a severe economic crisis has exacerbated and shortages of food and medicines have grown even more acute.

According to UN figures, 4 million people have fled Venezuela since 2015.

The government blames the shortages on US sanctions but the opposition says they are down to years of mismanagement.

Preliminary talks between Juan Guaidó and Nicolás Maduro were held in Oslo in May, but they petered out without an agreement.

However, they resumed earlier this month, with the Norwegian foreign ministry again acting as a mediator.