Fourth day of blackout in Venezuela; Maduro blames cyber-attacks

Cheryl Sanders
March 12, 2019

Electrical service once again has been restored in parts of Caracas after the blackout that began last week affecting more than half the country's states, according to reports from local residents.

Mr Guaido threatened to authorise an outside military intervention "when the time comes", pointing to the Constitution, which authorises "the use of a Venezuelan military mission overseas, or foreigners inside the country".

Self-proclaimed "Interim President" Juan Guaido gave a press conference on Sunday, slamming the government's handling of the electricity crisis and repeating calls for the armed forces to back his efforts in ousting the Maduro government.

"All the options are on the table", he said, borrowing a phrase from US President Donald Trump.

He also called for more street protests on Monday to pressure Maduro to step down, following up on Saturday's rally.

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"We are very sad because our food is being spoiled, and we have to buy strategically", said Marlen Viloria. "We will never surrender!"

Mr. Maduro on Sunday tweeted that he had taken steps to ensure the distribution of basic necessities, including food and water, to hospitals and other places.

As the USA has quickly ratcheted up sanctions against Venezuela to pressure Nicolas Maduro, bankers say they are shying away from doing even legitimate business with the crisis-wracked oil producing country for fear of getting caught in the crossfire.

The incident was reported caused by a sabotage at the Simon Bolivar Hydroelectric Plant in Bolivar State, which is the largest in the country.

Problems have been exacerbated by hyperinflation that the International Monetary Fund says will reach 10 million percent this year.

"If I could, I would take the little that I have and leave the country", said Renee Martinez, a Caracas resident.

Ms Francisca Rojas, a 62-year-old retiree living in Caracas, said: "I've spent three nights in a lot of distress".

"How long are we going to put up with this?"

"Authorities have managed to provide only patchy access to power since the outage began on Thursday in what President Nicolas Maduro called an act of US -backed sabotage, but critics insist it is the result of incompetence and corruption", adds the article.

At hospitals, the lack of power combined with the absence or poor performance of backup generators led to the death of 17 patients across the country, non-governmental organisation Doctors for Health said on Saturday. Critics blame the government for failing to maintain the power grid, as did the Lima Group, a primarily Latin American bloc. Caracas subway is down.

"The situation of people with kidney failure is very hard, critical, we are talking about 95 percent of dialysis units, which today likely hit 100 percent, are paralyzed, due to the power outage", Mr Valencia added. Next, no Maduro.' Venezuelan officials have pointed to tweets by Pompeo, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and other USA leaders as evidence of a United States hand behind the blackout, though further evidence has yet to be made public.

Other reports by iNewsToday