Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused the US of waging an “electricity war” against the country, as Caracas and other cities were plunged into darkness Thursday night. The government says the incident is likely sabotage.
Thousands of commuters in Caracas had to walk home as a power outage shut down the capital’s subway, resulting in massive traffic jams.The lights also went out in the largest airport of Caracas.
People on social media described disruptions in most of the nation’s regions and it is unclear how long the blackout will last. The government had to cancel school lessons and suspend the working day on Friday due to the emergency, Vice-President Delcy Rodriguez wrote on Twitter.
President Maduro for his part said the blackout was the result of an “electricity war” waged by “US imperialism.”
The outage was caused by “deliberate sabotage” at the Guri hydroelectric power plant, which provides most of the country’s energy, local media reported. The presumed saboteurs are likely linked to the US-backed opposition, Venezuela’s electric energy minister, Luis Motta Dominguez, claimed on national TV.
The minister pointed out that US Senator Marco Rubio, who is leading a fierce campaign to oust Maduro, tweeted about the outage just minutes after the emergency occurred.