Venezuela Stays in the Dark Again

The third mass blackout in three weeks affects at least 20 of the country’s 23 states.

For the third time in three weeks, a massive blackout hit Venezuela again. Caracas and the main cities of the country were left in the dark again. Power outages started minutes after seven o’clock in the afternoon of this Friday, local time, and affect at least 20 of the 23 states. This new electricity crisis comes just two days after the electricity supply resumed. The lack of light paralyzed the country since last Monday, just as happened on March 7, when a failure in the dam of Guri (a reservoir located in the southeast that produces 80% of the national energy) left the citizens no service for four days.

The National Electric Corporation has not yet ruled on this and neither has the Government of Nicolas Maduro, which attributed the previous cuts to a sabotage of the United States and the opposition and a fire. The response of the authorities was, in any case, very slow due to the structural deficiencies of a system that was nationalized more than a decade ago by the ex-president Hugo Chavez and that pays the consequences of the disinvestment since then.

The blackouts suffered by Venezuela affected the operations of the Maiquetia airport, the transportation and the operation of the hospitals, which remain afloat in the midst of an unprecedented health crisis. During the first electricity crisis, of about 100 hours, at least twenty people died, according to organizations close to the opposition, mainly in centers that were left without supplies. There were also hundreds of looting, especially in Maracaibo.

Juan Guaido sees in these episodes a reflection of the failure of Chavez’s management. The president of the National Assembly, recognized as interim president by more than 50 governments, had called to march this Saturday precisely against the blackouts and the “usurpation” of Maduro. He also called marches to protest against those he considers foreign interference. The electric cuts, in any case, contribute to elevate the already high political tension, multiply the fatigue of Venezuelans but also add to the majority of the population in exhaustion. These failures are usually compounded by the lack of water, which complicates not only commercial activities and freezes the scarce industrial production, but also supposes a condemnation for the routine and daily logistics of millions of people.

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Venezuela Stays in the Dark Again - /10

Summary

The third mass blackout in three weeks affects at least 20 of the country's 23 states.

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