Venezuela: blackout hits Caracas and other states in latest power outage

The Venezuelan capital of Caracas as parts of the country were hit by a blackout

Most of the country, around 17 states, was affected by the power cut around 4:40 pm on local time including the capital. Venezuela and other leftist Latin American countries left the alliance between 2012 and 2013.

According to a statement by the Venezuelan government, power has been restored to Caracas and four states have seen a partial return of power.

The power outage also knocked out telephone service, traffic lights and other basic services.

"The first indications received from the investigation point to the existence of an electromagnetic attack, which sought to affect the country's hydroelectric generation system, the main provider of power in Venezuela", said Minister of Communication and Information Jorge Rodriguez.

"It terrifies me to think we are facing a national blackout again", said Maria Luisa Rivero, a 45-year-old business owner from the city of Valencia, in the central state of Carabobo.

PHOTO: People cross a street during a blackout in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, July 22, 2019.

In addition to congress deputies, hundreds of other people attended the opposition rally on Tuesday, a far smaller crowd than the throngs that poured into the streets in January when Guaido declared himself interim president and that Maduro's 2018 re-election was a sham.

Opponents of Maduro said at the time that about 20 people died due to problems receiving medical treatment because of the blackout.

The government usually blames them on sabotage but experts say that a lack of investment, poor management, the emigration of qualified engineers and personnel, and corruption are the more likely culprits.

Hope for crisis-stricken Venezuela may be dwindling, but Chevron-who has been steadfastly operating in the country for nearly 100 years despite the unattractive business environment-can rest a bit easier today as Western-recognized Venezuelan President Juan Guaido has vowed to protect Chevron's Venezuela assets in the event that the United States declines to extend Chevron's license that allows it to operate in a sanctioned country, according to Reuters.

More recently, as power service in the politically important capital has improved amid widespread rationing in the interior, officials have even taken to downplaying the outages as similar to recent ones in Argentina and even parts of Manhattan.

"But their failure is evident: They destroyed the system and they don't have answers".

The oil-rich, cash-poor country has been in a deep recession for five years.



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