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.

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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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awfulorv
Guest

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

justsayin
Guest
justsayin

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

Merv Werk
Guest
Merv Werk

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

Merv Werk
Guest
Merv Werk

Where is my comment?

Matthew DeGennaro
Guest
Matthew DeGennaro

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.

Tom Green
Guest
Tom Green

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

Marco
Guest
Marco

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.

Ted B
Guest

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

Gary, eh
Guest
Gary, eh

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?

Rob
Guest
Rob

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.

Pilot Dave
Guest
Pilot Dave

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.

Pilot Dave
Guest
Pilot Dave

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… Read more »

r c Gosche
Guest
r c Gosche

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

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