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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.

A power blackout has left 70% of Venezuela without electricity, including parts of the capital Caracas.

The power cut disabled traffic lights in the city, causing traffic chaos. It also partially disrupted the underground transport system.

Thousands of workers were sent home. Power was slowly being restored in different areas after the cuts.

President Nicolas Maduro blamed the opposition for “sabotage” to power transmission lines.

“Everything seems to indicate that the extreme right has resumed its plan for an electrical strike against the country,” he said in a tweet.

In a live address on state television, the president also said the cuts were “part of a low-level war” against the country, a “folly by twisted and desperate minds”.

Nicolas Maduro did not give any evidence of the “sabotage” but said he had instructed the military “to protect the entire country”.

The power blackout has left 70 percent of Venezuela without electricity, including parts of the capital Caracas

The power blackout has left 70 percent of Venezuela without electricity, including parts of the capital Caracas

Opposition leader Henrique Capriles said the government was trying to divert public attention from the country’s problems by concocting the conspiracy theory.

Deputy Electrical Energy Minister Franco Silva said a fault had occurred in one of the national grid’s main transmission lines on Tuesday at 12:30 local time.

The cut affected large parts of the country for about three hours, after which time power was gradually restored.

The oil industry was not affected as Venezuela’s oil refineries are powered by separate generator plants.

Government officials have in the past said that high energy consumption at peak times and poor maintenance of transmission lines have led to a high incidence of cuts.

In 2010 the late President Hugo Chavez signed a decree declaring an “electricity emergency” to help his government tackle power shortages.

The opposition says the government of Hugo Chavez and his successor, Nicolas Maduro, may have spent billions of dollars on programmes to garner votes from the poor but has failed to invest in the upkeep and expansion of the electrical grid to meet growing demand.

Although Venezuela has big oil reserves, it is dependent on hydro-electricity for some 70% of its power.

Power cuts are common in Venezuela, especially in the country’s interior states, but rarely affect the capital, Caracas.

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