Venezuelan blackouts continue
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 3/11/19, 11:05 am
Venezuelan leader Juan Guaidó said on Sunday he will ask the country’s legislature to declare a state of emergency amid widespread power outages. Guaidó, who became interim president in January under a clause in the Venezuelan Constitution, said 16 of the 23 states still had no power over the weekend. He told reporters the emergency declaration is necessary to access international aid. The crippling outage began Thursday over a suspected failure at a major hydroelectric plant in the southern state of Bolivar. Venezuela is already battling food and medicine shortages and an ongoing political crisis that has increased pressure on embattled President Nicolás Maduro to step down.
Water pumps stopped working without electricity and hundreds of people gathered at mountain springs to get water. Long queues formed outside the few gas stations that still had power. Some hospitals turned on generators to care for their most critically ill patients. Information Minister Jorge Rodríguez said schools and government offices remained closed on Monday.
In a tweet Sunday, Maduro insisted the power outage was due to cyberattacks.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.