UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Caracas and many parts of Venezuela sank on Sunday evening in the dark after a new electrical fault that the government linked to a “magnetic electromagnet attack.”
Electricity was cut off in Caracas at 2041 GMT, AFP journalists said, which had a direct impact on water distribution, public transport and telephone lines.
A number of Twitter users said the power outages included all 23 Venezuelan states.
Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez told the television that “the first elements of the investigation carried out in the region of Caroni, southern Venezuela, refers to an electromagnetic attack intended to sabotage the hydroelectric production system.” And promised to return the stream “in the shortest possible time.”
President Nicolas Maduro later denounced Twitter as “a new criminal attack.”
The traffic lights stopped Monday in the Venezuelan capital, leading to overcrowding, as well as in the main money-withdrawing centers of the country, which suffers from huge inflation and lack of cash, especially large banknotes.
“I feel hungry and I want to eat something but there is no longer a place to pay with credit cards,” said Hernan Montalvo, who has not enough money to buy a sandwich.
Earlier on Monday, crowds of pedestrians invaded the capital’s docks after the Metro closed.
“They are trying to hide the magnitude of the tragedy,” said opposition leader Juan Guaido, who declared himself acting president of Venezuela in January and has been recognized by more than 50 countries, including the United States.
“The failure is clear: they destroyed the electrical system and they have no solutions,” he said.
The Venezuelan opposition generally attributes the power failures to “negligence” and “corruption” in Maduro’s government.
The National Company for Electricity Production (Coroboilek) only announced that an electrical fault was recorded in many sectors of the city.
– “Terrorist attacks” –
The blackout comes in a climate of diplomatic tension between Washington and Caracas, which Monday accused the United States of violating its airspace with a “spy plane.”
US military officials on Sunday condemned the approach of a Venezuelan fighter from a US aircraft in an “aggressive” and “dangerous” manner over the Caribbean. They described the maneuver as “lacking in craft”.
But the Venezuelan communications minister said a plane coming from the United States flew over the airspace of Simon Bolivar International Airport in Caracas, without informing the watchtower or clarifying the reasons for its presence in the area.
In March, Venezuela experienced a near-total power outage of 23 days and lasted for a week. It has paralyzed public services, particularly in water distribution networks, business interruption and study.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused the “terrorists” he did not name of carrying out an attack on the Gori hydroelectric plant, which supplies 80 percent of the country’s electricity needs.
In April, Venezuela also saw a power outage that lasted hours in a large part of its territory, particularly in Caracas.
Power cuts are commonplace in Venezuela, especially in remote western regions. But the capital does not suffer.
“This is a bad holiday and this may be worse than in the past,” Orimar Gerry, who lives in Caracas, told AFP.
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