Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Sunday instituted a plan to ration electricity as the troubled government scrambles to repair the country’s electrical system amid worsening economic and political conditions.
Maduro pleaded with the public to remain calm and resist violence as what he called “specialists, scientists and hackers” work to put an end to power and water outages.
“I have approved a 30-day plan to regulate the [electricity] output,” Maduro said in a televised address, explaining it will help curb the outages that have recently thrown the country into chaos for days at a time.
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) April 1, 2019
The announcement came on the heels of a fourth major power outage in the month of March that left Caracas and other major Venezuelan cities paralyzed without electricity, water or communications services.
Maduro blamed the Trump administration for orchestrating a series of attacks, saying the center of the electrical system was “penetrated by a virus and hacked by the North.” Without providing evidence, he said the attacks originated in Houston and Chicago and that Friday evening’s blackout was caused by an “electromagnetic attack.”
He alleged the U.S. had instigated the electricity war on Venezuela “to drive people crazy” and manipulate them into tearing apart the country.
“We are confronting monsters who want to destroy Venezuela,” he said. He urged people not to take to the streets or participate in guarimbas, setting up blockades, setting things on fire or throwing rocks at police.
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SOURCE: NPR, Vanessa Romo