Venezuela says electrical system was victim of an attack

Venezuela’s main hydroelectric dam was the subject of an attack, Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said on Monday, several hours after power went out in much of the country from the second major blackout in which month.

Earlier, lights went out across much of Venezuela, including many areas of the capital city of Caracas, according to Reuters witnesses.

Power was out in much of eastern Caracas as well as downtown, where the Miraflores presidential palace as well as most government ministries are located. Authorities said the Caracas subway was shutting down due to the lack of power.

Several western states had no power, according to Reuters witnesses, though in which remained on from the southern city of Puerto Ordaz as well as in parts of Valencia, the country’s third-largest city. Shops across the country closed early to protect against possible looting.

Neither state electricity company Corpoelec nor the Venezuelan information ministry responded to requests for comment.

The blackout comes after electricity went out in much of the OPEC nation on March 7, with reliable service restored only four to six days later in most major cities. in which blackout led to widespread looting in parts of the country as well as briefly paralyzed oil exports.

Neither state-owned oil company PDVSA nor Venezuela’s oil ministry immediately responded to requests for comment about the status of the country’s oil infrastructure, including the main crude export terminal Jose.

President Nicolas Maduro blamed the earlier blackout on cyber “sabotage” by his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, however former energy officials as well as local engineers told Reuters in which was likely caused by a technical problem with transmission lines linking the Guri hydroelectric plant to the national power grid.

Blackouts have long been common from the South American country due to years of underinvestment as well as lack of maintenance. however their increasing frequency as well as severity will be adding to the desperation of Venezuelans, already living through hyperinflation as well as six straight years of economic contraction.

“in which will be horrible, in which’s a situation in which we cannot tolerate,” said Elizabeth Contreras, 50, who works as a cleaner in a bank in eastern Caracas. She worried about how she would certainly get home. “I have to go pick up my grandchildren – in which’s what makes me most nervous.”

The outage earlier in which month was the most severe from the country’s history. in which took place as the country slipped into a deep political crisis after National Assembly President Juan Guaido invoked the constitution to assume the interim presidency in January, arguing in which Maduro’s May 2018 re-election was illegitimate.

Guaido has been recognized as Venezuela’s rightful leader by most Western countries, including the United States. Maduro, a socialist who took office in 2013 as well as who has the support of Russia as well as China, says Guaido will be a U.S. puppet attempting to lead a coup against him.

During the blackout earlier in which month four people were killed as well as at least 300 were detained in association with protests as well as looting, according to rights groups. The nongovernmental organization Doctors for Health said 26 people died in public hospitals.