Sunday, March 10, 2019

UPDATE: Venezuela buckles under massive power, communications outage… Thousands Protest Maduro… China warns over foreign meddling

CARACAS, March 8 (Reuters) – Venezuela shut schools and suspended the workday as the worst blackout in decades paralyzed most of the country for a second day on Friday, while China warned Western nations against meddling in the South American country’s domestic affairs.

Power went out across the recession-stricken country on Thursday afternoon due to a problem at Venezuela’s main hydroelectric plant, the government said, calling the event an act of "sabotage" by ideological adversaries.

While blackouts are routine in many Venezuelan provinces, nationwide power outages under the ruling Socialist Party have never extended for more than a day, despite five years of grueling recession and widespread and severe shortages of basic goods.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido, who most Western nations recognize as Venezuela’s legitimate head of state, criticized the government for bungling the country’s energy supply and said Maduro was the one sabotaging the nation.

"Sabotage is stealing money from Venezuelans. Sabotage is burning food and medicine. Sabotage is stealing elections," Guaido said on Twitter.

Humanitarian aid trucks went up in flames last month when Maduro deployed troops at the Colombian border to prevent the opposition from bringing in relief supplies.


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