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Venezuela plunges into darkness after major dam ‘sabotage’

Muslim Times(Web Desk) – 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 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,” he 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.

The electric company CORPOELEC also reacted to the outage, sayin. “They sabotaged the central generator… it’s part of the electric war against the state.”

“We won’t allow it, we’re working to re-establish the service.” it added.

US-backed opposition figure Juan Guaido, who declared himself president, took advantage of the power outage, once again accusing Maduro’s government of “inefficiency,” saying, “Venezuela is clear that the light will return with the end of usurpation.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also accused the Maduro “incompetence,” saying the responsibility rested with his government.

“The power outage and the devastation hurting ordinary Venezuelans is not because of the USA,” he wrote on Twitter.

“It’s not because of Colombia. It’s not Ecuador or Brazil, Europe or anywhere else. Power shortages and starvation are the result of the Maduro regime’s incompetence.”

The US, which has long been pushing to oust the elected government of Maduro has several times threatened to take military action against Venezuela to topple him.

Washington has also recognized Guaido as the legitimate leader in Venezuela and imposed economic sanctions on the country. It has recently confiscated state oil assets based in the US to channel them to the opposition.

On Thursday,  Trump’s special representative for Venezuela also threatened to “expand the net” of sanctions on the country, including more on banks supporting the government in Caracas.

“There will be more sanctions on financial institutions that are carrying out the orders of the Maduro regime,” said Elliott Abrams.

In a related development, China warned against imposing more sanctions on Venezuela,  saying it would  only worsen the situation in the country, which is already suffering an economic crisis.

Chinese foreign minister and state councillor Wang Yi said on Friday that Beijing has repeatedly called for outsiders not to interfere in Venezuela’s internal affairs and that continues to support the search for political resolution in the Latin American country.

China — a key ally of Venezuela—has already voiced support for the government of Maduro along with Russia, Iran, Turkey and Cuba.

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