The socialist regime in Venezuela claims power has been fully restored following a nationwide blackout that plunged the troubled country further into crisis.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Venezuelan Information Minister Jorge Rodrigues said that normal activities were ready to resume. “President Nicolas Maduro has decided to resume work activities throughout the country,” he said. “School activities remain suspended for another 24 hours.”
The blackout started last Friday, with around 70 percent of the country plunged into darkness and receiving little to no electricity, and became the longest and most severe power out in Venezuelan history. The situation sparked further chaos around the country, with widespread street demonstrations, looting sprees, and the closure of most essential public services. Meanwhile, dozens of people died in hospitals due to a breakdown in essential medical equipment.
The Maduro regime has repeatedly blamed the attacks on the United States, accusing the U.S. government of carrying out an “electronic coup” designed to further weaken his regime. He has yet to provide any evidence for the claim.
“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,” Maduro declared this week.
According to journalists on the ground, power has indeed been restored to most parts of Caracas, but not everywhere. There are still problems severely affecting the country’s water supply system, with the blackout damaging the quality of water entering people’s homes, with many people reporting what appeared to be oil-contaminated black water coming being bumped into their homes.
Opposition leader Juan Guaidó, recognized internationally as the country’s legitimate president, told CNN that the crisis has already caused $400 million in losses to the country’s private sector.
“We are in the middle of a catastrophe that is not the result of a hurricane, that is not the result of a tsunami,” he said earlier this week. “It’s the product of the inefficiency, the incapability, the corruption of a regime that doesn’t care about the lives of Venezuelans.”
Meanwhile, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Thursday that the international body remains “very concerned” about the situation and the worsening humanitarian crisis affecting the country.
“We are very concerned about the serious humanitarian impact that the power outage is having in Venezuela, as well as about reported incidents of looting and violence throughout the country,” he said in a statement.