Venezuela blames widespread power outrage on 'American imperialism'

Bogota (dpa) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday blamed "American imperialism" for a prolonged power outage which affected most of the South American country.

The embattled president blamed the blackout on "the electrical war announced and directed by American imperialism against our people," he said on Twitter.

"The power outage and the devastation hurting ordinary Venezuelans is not because of the USA," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded on social media. "Power shortages and starvation are the result of the Maduro regime's incompetence."
Opposition leader and self-declared interim leader Juan Guaido said at 11 pm [1:30 GMT Friday] that all but one of Venezuela's 23 states had no electricity and that capital Caracas had been without light for "a record" six hours.
"This blackout is evidence of the usurper's inefficiency," Guaido said on Twitter, referring to Maduro.
Venezuela's Communication Minister Jorge Rodriguez told state broadcaster Telesur that some 10 states had been affected by the blackout, which he called a "brutal electrical sabotage," adding that the power was back on in three states and the rest of the country would follow within hours.
Rodriguez also accused US Senator Marco Rubio of being involved in the "sabotage," claiming that he "predicted" the power outrage before it happened.
"My apologies to [the] people of Venezuela," Rubio responded on Twitter. "I must have pressed the wrong thing on the 'electronic attack' app I downloaded from Apple. My bad."
Maduro has presided over a massive economic crisis which has seen large numbers of people facing food and medicine shortages and millions leave the country.

Friday, March 8th 2019

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