VENEZUELAN President Nicolas Maduro says the United States has declared an ‘electric energy war’ against his country amid a widespread blackout that has left the capital Caracas and several other states in almost complete darkness.
The blackout affected 23 of the country’s 24 states on Thursday evening after an ‘attack’ on the Guri Dam, a large hydroelectric facility in east Venezuela, according to the minister of electrical power, Luis Motta Domínguez.
The power failure stopped the subway service in the capital Caracas and caused many problems around the country.
‘The electric energy war declared and directed by the US imperialists against our people will be destroyed,’ Motta wrote in a Twitter post on Thursday. ‘Nothing and nobody will win over the people of Venezuela,’ he added.
Information Minister Jorge Rodríguez also accused right-wing ‘criminals’ of committing sabotage to the dam’s system of generation and distribution.
‘They sabotaged the central generator … it’s part of the electric war against the state,’ the electric company CORPOELEC said, adding it was working to re-establish the service.
US-backed opposition figure Juan Guaido, who declared himself president, took advantage of the power outage, accusing Maduro’s government of ‘inefficiency’.
‘Venezuela is clear that the light will return with the end of usurpation,’ he said.
The US, which has long been pushing to oust the elected government of Maduro, has threatened several times to take military action to topple him.
US President Donald Trump has warned Venezuela’s military to either accept opposition leader Juan Guaido’s amnesty offer or stand to ‘lose everything’. Washington has also recognised Guaido as the interim president and imposed further economic sanctions on the country.
The US recently confiscated Venezuela’s state oil assets based in the US to channel them to the opposition.
On Thursday, Trump’s special representative for Venezuela threatened to ‘expand the net’ of sanctions on the country.
‘There will be more sanctions on financial institutions that are carrying out the orders of the Maduro regime,’ said Elliott Abrams.
Meanwhile, the UK government, acting as gold thieves on behalf of the Trump regime has refused to return $1.2bn of gold that was deposited by Venezuela with the Bank of England.