Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro named a new electricity minister on Thursday, replacing one he appointed just two months ago amid persistent prolonged power blackouts.
Developers have presented more than 150 proposals for power plants ahead of an auction this month to supply electricity to the Brazilian state of Roraima, which has struggled with a rash of blackouts due to reliance on the shaky Venezuelan power grid.
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro announced 30 days of electricity rationing on Sunday, after his government said it was reducing the length of the workday and keeping schools closed due to devastating blackouts plaguing the country.
A new massive blackout was recorded this weekend in Venezuela after a nationwide interruption of electricity service this Friday, which was slowly restored in main cities as Caracas. However, a new relapse of the supply occurred on Saturday night, affecting 16 states of the country - more than half.
Brazil Mines and Energy Minister Bento Albuquerque said that Venezuela had not complied with its contract to supply the northern state of Roraima with energy since March 7. Roraima is a neighbor of Venezuela and an international bridge has become an escape way for thousands of Venezuelans fleeing from the Nicola Maduro regime and the lack of food and medicines.
Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaidó has called on his supporters to take to the streets in protest at nationwide power cuts. He also told followers to prepare for a final push to try to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro.
Venezuela blamed an attack on its electric system for a blackout on Monday, the second to hit the OPEC nation this month, that shuttered businesses, plunged the main airport into darkness and left commuters stranded in the capital. Power went out in much of Caracas and nearly a dozen states in the early afternoon, stirring memories of a week-long outage earlier in the month that was the most severe in the country's history.
On Sunday, the Venezuelan President, Nicolás Maduro, asked his executive cabinet to make his charges available to carry out a “restructuring”. This was confirmed by the vice president of the oil country, Delcy Rodríguez through her Twitter account, where she noted that “the President has requested the entire Executive Cabinet to put their charges to order for the purposes of a thorough restructuring of the methods and Bolivarian government operation to shield the Homeland from any threat!”
A major advisor to energy producing nations has suggested that the continued fallout from Venezuela could present a challenge for global oil markets. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has warned that crude supplies from Venezuela are at risk of falling sharply in the midst of an electricity crisis which has paralyzed the country recently.
Venezuela ordered American diplomats to leave the country within 72 hours on Tuesday after President Nicolas Maduro accused US counterpart Donald Trump of cyber sabotage that plunged the OPEC nation into its worst blackout on record.