Venezuela plunged into chaos as power failure engulfs capital; looters take to the streets as Maduro blames U.S. ‘cyberattack’

By Jon Dougherty

As bad as things were in Venezuela, they have gotten much worse over the last 24 hours, with a massive power outage in the capital of Caracas that has led to mass looting and chaos in the streets.

It was the fifth straight day of an unprecedented blackout, as power stations failed across the country and socialist President Nicolas Maduro searched for someone else to blame, settling on his favorite nemesis: The United States.

The embattled president claims the power outages are the result of “sabotage” by the U.S. at the Guri hydroelectric dam in the form of cyber attacks, but as Reuters reports, the truth is the country’s power infrastructure is suffering from years of underinvestment.

“The national electrical system has been subject to multiple cyberattacks,” Maduro wrote on Twitter on Sunday. “However, we are making huge efforts to restore stable and definitive supply in the coming hours.”

Internet service around the country has also been impacted, as has cellphone service — as U.S. sanctions bite deeper into the country’s already depressed economy.

Meanwhile, Maduro continues to face challenges to his rule by the leader of the opposition-led congress, Juan Guaido. But thus far, Maduro has resisted regional and international pressure to resign.

Reuters noted further:

Despite pressure from frequent opposition marches and U.S. sanctions on the country’s vital oil sector, Maduro is not open to negotiations on ending the political impasse and seems intent on trying to stay put, said Elliott Abrams, the Trump administration’s envoy for Venezuela.

The blackout, which began Thursday afternoon, increased frustration among Venezuelans already suffering widespread food and medicine shortages, as the once-prosperous OPEC nation’s economy suffers a hyperinflationary collapse. Food rotted in refrigerators, people walked for miles to work with the Caracas subway down, and relatives abroad anxiously waited for updates from family members with telephone and internet signals intermittent.

The outage is by far the longest in decades. In 2013, Caracas and 17 of the country’s 23 states were hit by a six-hour blackout, while in 2018 eight states suffered a 10-hour power outage, government officials said at the time.

“What can you do without electricity?” said Leonel Gutierrez, a 47-year-old systems technician, as he carried his six-month-old daughter while he walked to find groceries. “The food we have has gone bad.”

The UK’s Daily Mail reported that supermarkets have become targets for looters, with many being ransacked overnight as the power outage continued.


Security forces were seen rounding up some looters and piling them into trucks.

The paper reported:

The country will enter its fifth consecutive day of power outages on Monday, which have also forced people to rummage through bins for food, queue to charge electronic devices using a solar panel and buy bread with 100-dollar bills after the country was hit by a fourth day of blackouts. 

Opposition leader Juan Guaido called for a nation-wide march on Caracas to crank up the pressure on embattled President Nicolas Maduro, as the country endured its third night largely without power.

The massive blackout, crippling the oil-rich but economically troubled South American nation, has fuelled the political standoff between Guaido, who is recognized as Venezuela’s leader by more than 50 countries, and Maduro, who is clinging to power.

No national data was available about the impact of the power outage, but an NGO said at least 15 patients with advanced kidney disease died after they stopped receiving dialysis treatments in darkened hospitals. 

We have written Venezuela’s epitaph before, but it’s not up to us to decide when the country’s people have had enough. It’s up to them.

That said, it seems implausible to imagine that Maduro’s days aren’t numbered.

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20 Comments on "Venezuela plunged into chaos as power failure engulfs capital; looters take to the streets as Maduro blames U.S. ‘cyberattack’"

  1. Meanwhile dumb axx Americans are infatuated with Bernie, the Bartender, and gun restriction.

    • Hey, maybe we can do a 1:1 population swap – Venezuelans are fleeing their failed Socialist state, trade them for these “Give me more free stuff” supporters of Bernie and AOC…

  2. Seems like Cuba, China, Russia, and a bunch of democrats are Maduro’s only remaining supporters.

  3. More USA fake news! All because the people reject their USA lackey,stooge!

    • Truthful resistance to leftist lies. | March 11, 2019 at 3:37 pm | Reply

      Fake you say? The facts prove you wrong. There are multiple sources, all independent, reporting the same information…. Maybe the fake news is you.

    • Oh come on Bernie, man up and have the cajones to post under your own name. Good one though, make a claim of USA fake news and distract people from the miserable failure Socialism is, was and always will be. I do love though how you keep talking about the income disparity in the US and playing class warfare. How come you never mention the most obvious cause of that disparity? Occams Razor – The income disparity is directly correlated with the work ethic disparity, the intelligence disparity and the skills disparity.

      See, the problem with spending other people’s money to promote mediocrity is that eventually you run out of it and then there’s no one left with brains, work ethic, ingenuity and the self-sacrificing tireless drive for success that will live on Ramen & hotdogs for 3 years just to see the first black year. And then one day a ‘post-turtle’ of a president whose never actually done an honest day’s work in his life tries to tell you ‘You Didn’t Build That’. Really Arsehole? Oh yes we did! Or some moronic bartender 30 year old going on 12 thinks somehow your success should be penalized now that you’re finally successful. AOC thinks you earn too much, its obscene really and you should pay 70-90% taxes, i.e. paying your fair share. Hey AOC do you know whose not paying their fair share? The 50% of this country that pay NO taxes at all. Start there.

  4. Where is my comment?

  5. Matthew DeGennaro | March 11, 2019 at 11:28 am | Reply

    Of course Maduros days are numbered, they’re sitting on more oil than Saudi Arabia and he wants to keep it for Venezuelans. Maybe we should go help those people out like we did in Libya and as a byproduct we might see our oil companies funnel all of another sovereign nations resources to their bottom lines.

    • Alberto Zegada | March 11, 2019 at 11:45 am | Reply

      so is it the oil companies behind this or the U.S. or who?? When you say ‘Maybe we should go help…’ who are the ‘we’ you are referring to??

    • He doesn’t CARE about Venezuelans and the only ones trying to take away the oil are the Russians and Chinese. We have been Venezuela’s primary buyer of oil for decades but we produce more than we use, we don’t need their oil. You sound kinda Anti-American there. Are you by chance a Socialist?

    • Our tens of thousands of tons of food and medical supplies just sitting at the boarder with Brazil is enough of a draw for the people and some of their army to fix their Maduro / Socialist problem without our troops setting foot in town.

      This will better play out on its own with Bernie and AOC running around praising Socialism, without actually living Socialism. (typical hypocrites)

  6. Socialism in action. It what the dems want for the US.

  7. Unfortunately, it will end up being a bloodbath of a revolution. The government guns against the people. Venezuelans have been disarmed by Chavez and Maduro. However, the guns will be overrun by hungry mobs and soldiers joining the opposition. To quote Marley: “A hungry mob is a hungry mob.” Time will tell if Venezuelans adopt a market economy or continue the amazing success of socialism.

  8. Sanders and Cortez are on their way down to show them how socialism really works.

  9. Interesting that the same shops that had empty shelves last week are now full and being looted. Something in one of the stories is fake. Which tale is the truth? Or is it all part of the narrative, designed to steer our thinking?

  10. As usual the Drive By Media reporting is rather thin.
    Did get one report detailing how rundown the Venezuela electrical system
    and power grid are.
    The whole grid depends on one big hydro dam and the main
    line was taken out by poor maintenance and a grass fire.
    Secondary interconnect does not have enough capacity.
    Makes me think of the stupidity in MoonBeams California,
    only much worse.

  11. WOW, the Socialist blame their blackouts on the USA “cyber attacks” ? LOL, Even if true, unplug the power plants from the internet and fire them back up… what’s that? They don’t have any diesel fuel to power their generators ?

    In simple point of fact, the USA has tens of thousands of pounds of FOOD and medical supplies sitting at the boarder with Brazil, but the Socialists don’t allow it into to save their people…

    Sounds like Somalia during Bill Clinton’s times.

  12. Alberto – Dude, you got some bad hash in your ObamaBong… the “oil companies” and “power company” – ALL large companies were ALL SEIZED by Hugo years ago. The Socialist government owns them “lock stock & barrel” – When they were seized, ALL their engineers went back home to their own counties and ALL investment stopped.

    Hugo and the other Socialist thought these things would run on auto-pilot forever. NOPE….

    Meanwhile, the USA has tens of thousands of tons of food and medical supplies sitting at the boarder with Brazil waiting for the people of Venezuela to be allowed to accept the aid.

    Maybe the Bernie and AOC can convince Maduro to allow this? Not likely.

  13. Cortez has gone down quite a few times, I’m sure

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