Venezuela Blackout: Maduro Blames U.S. for ‘Electronic Coup,’ Warns of Further Attacks

Nicolas Maduro
AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos

Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro continues to blame the United States for the nationwide blackout that has further crippled the crisis-stricken country and has warned that “more attacks” could be on the way.

In a television address on Monday, the socialist dictator said that said that the recovery from power outages would take place “little by little,” adding that the outage was an “electronic coup” carried out by “criminal minds” on behalf of the U.S. government.

“The cruel attack that the U.S. empire has carried out against the electrical system has been detected and progressively reversed, thanks to the effort of Venezuelan experts and hackers who are working hard to restore tranquility to People,” he wrote on Twitter.

“I ratify my admiration for the heroic Venezuelan people who resist with courage and bravery this art attack against the tranquility of the fatherland,” he continued. “I call on social and political organizations to maintain active resistance that promotes solidarity and protects the peace.”

The power outage began last Friday, with around 70 percent of the country plunged into darkness and receiving little to no electricity, making it the longest and most severe blackout in Venezuelan history.

The situation that has already sparked considerable civil unrest, with reports of street demonstrations, mass lootings and the closure of most essential services. Meanwhile, dozens of people have died as a result of the blackout as hospital equipment failed without power.

Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rejected any claims of U.S. involvement, saying the crisis was a result of the Maduro regime’s “incompetence.”

“The power outage and the devastation hurting ordinary Venezuelans is not because of the USA. It’s not because of Colombia. It’s not Ecuador or Brazil, Europe or anywhere else,” he wrote. “Power shortages and starvation are the result of the Maduro regime’s incompetence.”

“Maduro’s policies bring nothing but darkness,” he added. “No food. No medicine. Now, no power. Next, no Maduro.”

Meanwhile, Maduro also confirmed that schools and public services would be suspended until Thursday at the earliest, as people struggle to live without access to the internet, mobile phones, banks, credit-card machines, electric cookers or even air-conditioning.

“I ordered the suspension of school and work activities on Tuesdays 12 and Wednesday 13 March so that, together with our people, we can make definitive progress in the full stabilization of the quiet life and the peace we deserve,” he said. “Our people have shown, during these days of attack to which we have been subjected, a categorical lesson of dignity and organization. Conscience and peace have prevailed in the face of conspiracy and aggression. Together we will conquer a new victory!”

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