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Blackout leaves half of Venezuela in the dark; Maduro claims an “electrical coup”

Tuesday, September 3rd 2013 - 23:25 UTC
Full article 21 comments
The Venezuelan president: “the extreme rights want to weaken the nation” The Venezuelan president: “the extreme rights want to weaken the nation”
The Pan-American basketball tournament had to be suspended several hours  The Pan-American basketball tournament had to be suspended several hours

President Nicolas Maduro blamed Venezuela’s right-wing opposition for what he called “sabotage” and an ‘electrical coup’ that he said caused blackouts that plunged much of the country into chaos.

“At this hour, all signs indicate that the extreme right has implemented its plan to carry out an Electrical Coup against the nation,” Maduro blasted on Twitter.

“Clearly behind all this is the hand of those who want to weaken our nation. Onward on the road to work and prosperity: Unity and Progress!” the president tweeted.

By being “alert and active, we will defeat them” Maduro said noting that he had activated army troops to step up patrols until power could be restored in the oil rich country.

However the nation's oil refineries, which are powered by separate generator plants, were not affected. A senior Energy Ministry official said a fault occurred in one of the national grid's major transmission lines, which caused power cuts in the west and centre of the country.

“It's going to take several hours to restart the generation plants so we can restore national service,” Franco Silva, vice minister of electricity development, told state television.

The blackout struck at peak hours in Caracas, around 1:00 pm local time (1730 GMT), and also affected cities in Lara, Zulia, Anzoategui, Miranda, Nueva Esparta, Aragua, Trujillo and Barinas states, according to media reports and social networks. An estimated 12 out of 24 states went on the blackout.

Various posts on Twitter said the Caracas subway service was disrupted by the power failure while outages also knocked out traffic lights, causing transport chaos. Thousands were forced to walk to their homes.

The International Federation Basketball Americas Championship, or Campeonato Fiba Americas 2013, or Pan-American basketball tournament, which classifies for the world cup in Spain, had to be suspended for several hours.

Two hours into the blackout, power was being gradually restored is some areas, Electricity Minister Jesse Chacon said.

Venezuela said last week it had derailed a plot to kill Maduro, arresting two hit-men it said wanted to assassinate the populist leader on orders from a Colombian conservative ex-president.

The government made frequent allegations of assassination plots against the late President Hugo Chavez and has continued to do so under Maduro, his handpicked successor.
 

Top Comments

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  • Anglotino

    Wow!

    So Venezuela has had a coup.... hang on a minute the same government is still in power.... so it wasn't a coup?

    So the extreme right plunged half the country into a blackout and they gained what exactly?

    Hot on the heels of yet another assassination attempt on Maduro. He must be so powerful to be continually attacked..... who this time? An ex-president of Colombia?

    WTF!!

    Does Maduro realise how stupid he is sounding? That is the problem when you are surrounded by sycophants blinded by ideology. They think the rest of the world is a stupid as they are.

    Sep 04th, 2013 - 12:25 am 0
  • GFace

    Those CIA trained electrons. Execute them all! I also hear next week the oligarchs will be all jumping up and down at the same time to shift the earths axis. The fiends!

    Sep 04th, 2013 - 01:05 am 0
  • agent999

    “Maduro then Foreign minister of deceased president Hugo Chavez was caught on video trying to convince Paraguayan military commanders to take to the streets in support of Lugo. The Paraguayan Senate declared him ‘persona non grata’. ”

    Sep 04th, 2013 - 03:40 am 0
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