Society 15:09 27/03/2019 World

Venezuelans grapple with another massive blackout

Much of Venezuela remained without electricity Tuesday as a new power outage spread across the country in what many feared will be a repeat of the chaos during the nation’s largest-ever blackout earlier this month, NBC News reports.

The outage began around midday Monday and appeared to have affected the majority of Venezuela’s 23 states. While the lights flickered back on in many parts after officials declared service would be restored within hours, the grid collapsed again in the late evening, knocking out communications and leaving much of the South American country bracing for the worst.

“Venezuela doesn’t stand a chance anymore, there is no life here,” said Johnny Vargas, a frustrated restaurant worker who wishes he could leave the country. “People can’t work anymore; we can’t do anything.”

As with the previous outage, President Nicolás Maduro’s government blamed U.S.-backed opponents, accusing them of sabotaging the Guri dam, which supplies the bulk of Venezuela’s electricity.

“A macabre, perverse plan constructed in Washington and executed with factions of the extreme Venezuelan right,” Vice President Delcy Rodriguez declared on state television, describing it as an “electromagnetic” assault.

Officials said the “attack” had been controlled, but their assurances, similar to ones the last time around, did little to calm the anger of residents in Caracas who filled traffic-clogged streets as they walked home after subway service in the capital was suspended on Monday.

Their patience grew increasingly thin when a second outage struck late into the night, with residents in some neighborhoods banging on pots and pans in pitch black to express their growing frustration. On Tuesday morning, banks, shops and other businesses in Caracas were closed.

The outages come as Maduro is fighting to keep power amid a revived opposition movement and punishing economic sanctions from the U.S.



Source Panorama.am
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