August 20, 2019
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Power blackout hits most of Venezuela

Caracas, Jul 22 (efe-epa).- A new power blackout left much of Venezuela without electricity on Monday starting at 4:40 pm, and the state-run Corpoelec, which controls electricity service throughout the country.

Venezuelan Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez said Monday that an "electromagnetic attack" on the country's main hydroelectric plant had caused the blackout affecting millions.

"First indications received from the investigation ... point to the existence of an attack of electromagnetic character that sought to affect Guyana's hydroelectricity generation system, (that country being) the main provider of this service in (this) country," the minister told state-run VTV television.

At least a dozen of the country's federal agencies are being affected by the blackout, which is widespread in certain regions while in Caracas EFE was able to determine that the Metro service was suspended, stranding many commuters and forcing many others to walk to their destinations.

Hundreds of reports about the blackout circulated on the social networks and local media reported that 16 of the country's states were completely in the dark.

The power outage once again created problems for Venezuelans in placing telephone calls, especially from one region to another, and resulted in failures in Internet connections in a country where almost everyone depends on a state-run entity for their electricity.

The latest widespread blackout affecting Caracas occurred on April 10. However, power interruptions occur almost daily in the western states of Trujillo and Zulia, which borders on Colombia.

Last March, Venezuela experienced an 11-day blackout after two major outages paralyzed the country, motivating the Nicolas Maduro government to blame the political opposition and the US administration of Donald Trump.

To resolve those problems, the Venezuelan government began rationing electricity and continued to do so for almost two months, leaving 20 of the country's 24 states in the dark for 20 hours each week.

The government also created a command center to deal with the crisis and announced the modernization and restructuring of Corpelec.

The opposition, meanwhile, said that corruption within the Electric Energy Ministry and poor management of billions of dollars destined for the sector were to blame for the current crisis.

hp/sb/cav/bp

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