A power failure leaves at least 19 of the 23 states of Venezuela without electricity | International

A street in Caracas during the power failure, this Friday morning.
A street in Caracas during the power failure, this Friday morning.Rayner Peña R. (EFE)

Venezuelans were left without electricity early this Friday. At least 19 of the 23 states of the country were left totally in the dark by a new national fault generated in the Guri hydroelectric plant, the main source of electricity in the country. The country was left without electricity for about four hours, the time it took to restore service, although some sectors of the capital and the interior of the country woke up without electricity. The Government of Nicolás Maduro attributes the blackout to an external attack.

For Venezuelans, blackouts have become common, after an electricity crisis that has lasted more than a decade, in which rationing has been applied, reduced operating hours of large establishments and even turned off the billboards in the cities. In the silence of this morning the power plants were heard, with the irritating smog that emanate from the combustion of diesel and that has also become part of daily life in some sectors of the middle class that have shielded themselves to face recurrent service interruptions. Many public health centers in Venezuela, however, lack these contingency teams.

The vice president of Public Works and Services of Venezuela, Néstor Reverol, reported on the state channel VTV that they were carrying out work to recover the service, which still presents fluctuations in the current. “The experience accumulated in the combat of the electrical war will allow the recovery of the system,” said Reverol. “Once again those who were cruel in 2019 attack our people, especially in these December holidays.”

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The official refers to the great blackout that Venezuela experienced between March 7 and 12, 2019. Then, Maduro accused the United States of organizing the attacks that left in blackout to the country for five days, as recreated in the animated comic recently released by the official media that shows the president as Super Mustache, a superhero who manages to restore the electricity that some villains cut off from the White House. It is the recurring narrative of the Government to justify the serious failures of infrastructure and services that the oil country is experiencing due to the lack of maintenance, mismanagement and corruption.

In 2013, all electrical installations were militarized and security zones were declared to prevent these alleged attacks that continue to occur. The management of these types of services also passed into the hands of the military, displacing technicians, as happened with PDVSA and other state companies.

The deficiencies in the energy service are one of the factors that make the economic recovery that the Government is currently pushing uphill. Experts have reiterated that the national electricity system would not support an increase in industrial capacity without making improvements. It is a condition on which the businessmen grouped into employers such as Fedecámaras insisted to reactivate the country after eight consecutive years of falling GDP.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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