Explosion at Venezuela power station adds to tensions amid days-long blackout

by - 2 min read

Explosion at Venezuela power station adds to tensions amid days-long blackout

by - 2 min read

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Witnesses say an explosion occurred at a power station in the Venezuelan capital as days of nationwide power cuts imposed increasing hardship on the country.

Flames rose from the electrical facility in the Baruta area of Caracas early Monday, contributing to a sense of chaos among Venezuelans already struggling with an economic crisis and a bitter political standoff. 

Opposition leader Juan Guaido says three of four electricity transformers servicing the area were knocked out and that state engineers are unable to fix them.

The U.S.-backed leader of the National Assembly has blamed the blackouts that began Thursday on alleged government corruption and mismanagement, while President Nicolas Maduro accused his adversary of sabotaging the national grid. 

Maduro has accused Guaido and the U.S. of staging a “cyberattack” on the power grid.

Maduro on Sunday called the massive blackouts a “macabre strategy” to create a level of despair in the country. 

The explosion occurred at a power station in the Venezuelan capital as days of nationwide power cuts imposed increasing hardship on the country. (Carlos Jasso/Reuters)

Maduro posted a video on Twitter that showed him with a two-way radio, purportedly talking to military commanders and governors.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez said the military has been deployed to protect Venezuela’s power installations from alleged saboteurs. 

“We know who’s behind all this,” Padrino Lopez said, echoing the government line that the U.S. staged cyberattacks on Venezuela’s infrastructure.

U.S. officials have dismissed the allegation as absurd. 

This story originally appeared on CBC

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