Blackout in Venezuela: How long will it last?

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Residents started a fire after a blackout had gone for six hours in Caracas. March 7, 2019. Photo by Luis Carlos Diaz via Twitter. Used with permission

CARACAS, Venezuela – At approximate 4:50 pm local time on March 7, full-scale power outages in the capital Caracas and at least 22 other states have left homes, businesses, public services, and hospitals in Venezuela without power. By the early hours of March 8, journalists and civilians in the country who were able to use mobile data began reporting online that generators and other back-up supplies of power were running low.

Officials in the government of embattled president Nicolás Maduro say the outage is the result of “sabotage,” calling it an “electrical war” perpetrated by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, with the backing of the US government. Guaidó fired back, saying that “the only sabotage here is being done by the usurper of the Venezuelan people,” in a reference to President Nicolás Maduro, who opposition leaders say “usurped” the presidency through an illegitimate election process.

Blackouts are nothing new in Venezuela — in the midst of the economic, social and political crises that have engulfed the country in recent years, citizens have faced regular power outages. But the broad coverage and duration of this are unique.

In addition to leaving residents without access to light, refrigeration, medical technology and transportation powered by electricity, the blackout has also precipitated an almost total shutdown of communication systems in the country.

The technical testing group NetBlocks, which measures internet connections and outages in countries around the world, published test results showing that internet activity has plummeted, and incidentally offered some concrete data on the impact of the outages.

Public protests and confrontations between the Maduro-aligned military and opposition leaders backed by the US have come in waves since mid-January when Guaidó openly challenged Maduro’s legitimacy and declared himself interim president, on constitutional grounds.

This article written by Ellery Roberts Biddle originally appeared on Global Voices on March 8, 2019

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5 COMMENTS

  1. More interference from the world’s Largest Terrorist Nation, the United States Government.

    Marco Rubio, three minutes after the hacking of the Venezuelan Dam Computer-controlled system,
    producing over 80% of the countries electrical power, telephoned Venezuela and said in so many words, ‘see what we can do’.
    An admission of guilt, if ever there was one, in my humble opinion.
    This is EXACTLY the stance of the US Military Industrial Complex, under Pompeo and Bolton’s watch.
    the USA certainly has overstepped its mandate this time.
    Don D.

  2. One more thing on the list of Nefarious activities’ against the Sovereign Country of Venezuela, caused by the REAL largest Terrorist Nation in the World , bar none, the United States Government.
    Three minutes after the power outage occurred in Venezuela, the United States STOOGE, Marco Rubio, announced to the Venezuelan Government, in so many words, ‘See what we can do’.
    Cyber terrorism (Hacking) affecting the computer controls of the major electrical dam, supplying power to over 80 % of Venezuela.
    Keep your big nose out of Venezuela, USA.
    Look after your own demonstrably-failing country’s affairs.
    Your annual military budget alone, could cure ALL the problems in your OWN country, for decades.

    Don D.

  3. Marco Rubio, the US Government’s STOOGE, just three minutes after the USA’s hacking and disabling of the Venezuelan Dam’s Computer-controlled system which controlled over 80% of that countries electrical power, telephoned President Maduro, in Venezuela and said in so many words, ‘see what we can do’.

    A positive admission of guilt if ever there was one, in my humble opinion.

    This is EXACTLY the stance of the US Military Industrial Complex, under Pompeo, Elliott and Bolton’s, tenure.
    The US Military Industrial Complex, has really overstepped its mandate this time.

    Watch for the HUGE Pro-Venezula, ANTI-WAR PROTESTS in the main US Cities plus Washington, D.C., on March 16th.
    You will possibly have to go on the internet to see this, because the US Government-Controlled News Media, WILL NOT LIKELY REPORT IT!

    Trump, even YOUR OWN CITIZENS’ are APPOLLED at your decision to attack the Sovereign Nation of Venezuela, to satisfy the US 1%’ers Capitalistic desires, just to obtain new sources of Income from Venezuela’s Natural Resources.

    Wake up American Military Personnel, are YOU prepared to become Cannon-Fodder, just to enrich these
    1% money grubbers’?

    Think long and hard about this, US Citizens’.

    Don D.

  4. Marco Rubio, the US Government’s STOOGE, just three minutes after the USA’s hacking and disabling of the Venezuelan Dam’s Computer-controlled system which controlled over 80% of that countries electrical power, telephoned President Maduro, in Venezuela and said in so many words, ‘see what we can do’.

    A positive admission of guilt if ever there was one, in my humble opinion.

    This is EXACTLY the stance of the US Military Industrial Complex, under Pompeo, Elliott and Bolton’s, tenure.
    The US Military Industrial Complex, has really overstepped its mandate this time.

    Watch for the HUGE Pro-Venezula, ANTI-WAR PROTESTS in the main US Cities plus Washington, D.C., on March 16th.
    You will possibly have to go on the internet to see this, because the US Government-Controlled News Media, WILL NOT LIKELY REPORT IT!

    Trump, even YOUR OWN CITIZENS’ are APPOLLED at your decision to attack the Sovereign Nation of Venezuela, to satisfy the US 1%’ers Capitalistic desires, just to obtain new sources of Income from Venezuela’s Natural Resources.

    Wake up American Military Personnel, are YOU prepared to become Cannon-Fodder, just to enrich these
    1% money grubbers’?

    Think long and hard about this, US Citizens’.

    Don D.

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