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Montevideo, March 26th 2019 - 06:22 UTC

Major blackout in Venezuela; Caracas in complete darkness: “light will return when Maduro is removed”

Friday, March 8th 2019 - 08:44 UTC
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Guaidó said the blackout was a matter of “chaos, concern and indignation” and “evidence of the usurper's inefficiency”. (AFP) Guaidó said the blackout was a matter of “chaos, concern and indignation” and “evidence of the usurper's inefficiency”. (AFP)

Most of Venezuela has been hit by a continuing electricity blackout that began on Thursday afternoon. The power cut plunged the capital Caracas into almost complete darkness during rush hour and has extended to the vast majority of the country.

The government of President Nicolás Maduro has blamed the opposition, accusing them of sabotage.

It comes amid heightened tensions over opposition efforts, backed by the US, to remove Mr Maduro from power.

Maduro accuses opposition leader and self-declared interim president Juan Guaidó of trying to mount a coup with the help of “US imperialists”.

Mr Guaidó - who is backed by the US, most European and some Latin American countries - said the blackout was a matter of “chaos, concern and indignation” and “evidence of the usurper's inefficiency”.

“Light would return” once Mr Maduro was removed from power,“ he said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also weighed in, blaming the ”Maduro regime's incompetence“.

”No food. No medicine. Now, no power. Next, no Maduro,” he tweeted.

The lack of electricity has caused flights to be diverted from the main airport in Caracas, where thousands of workers were forced to walk home.

Venezuela depends on its vast hydroelectric infrastructure, rather than its oil reserves, for its domestic electricity supply. However, decades of underinvestment have damaged the major dams and sporadic blackouts are commonplace.

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