Venezuela Crisis: Maduro Orders Power Rationing as Blackouts Intensify

Blackout darkens much of Venezuela in latest taste of economic woes

Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro has ordered the population must begin rationing electricity as blackouts and prolonged power shortages continue to ravage the crisis-stricken socialist country.

In the wake of repeated power outages over the past week, Maduro said on Sunday in a speech on state television that people must start conserving energy to prevent the effects of the blackout.

“In the next 30 days, a special burden-management regime will be implemented to balance the National Electrical Service,” he wrote on Twitter. “This plan will have a special emphasis on not affecting the energy needed to ensure the supply of drinking water.”

Power outages in Venezuela began early last month, with around 70 percent of the country receiving little to no electricity for nearly week. Despite attempting various repairs on the power systems, blackouts are now occurring at random times, indicating significant damage to the national electrical grid. Meanwhile, The Maduro regime has blamed the attack on the United States as a deliberate act of sabotage.

“They knew what they were attacking. Only the North American empire has enough hatred, enough wickedness in its brain, enough perversity – has a diabolical enough mind – to order an attack like this,” he said last week, without providing any evidence for his claims. “It was an enemy bombardment – and you can be certain Donald Trump had a hand in this. Donald Trump is obsessed with Venezuela.”

Opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who is recognized by the United States and other country’s as Venezuela’s legitimate president, said that the real reasons for the outages included a lack of investment in the national grid, inadequate maintenance, and a failure to tackle repairs.

“There is no sabotage,” Guaidó wrote on Twitter. “They brought the electrical system to collapse because they are corrupt and now they can’t resolve it because they are incapable.”

The blackouts have only wreaked further havoc on the country, which was already struggling under the pressure of one of the world’s most serious economic and humanitarian crises. Examples of the chaos included widespread street demonstrations, looting sprees, as well as the closure of many essential public services such as schools, transportation, and hospitals.

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