Venezuelan Army Introduces Air Surveillance over Power Lines after Blackout

Venezuelan Army Introduces Air Surveillance over Power Lines after Blackout

Socialist President Nicolas Maduro - who is facing a challenge to his rule by the leader of the opposition-led congress, Juan Guaido - has blamed the blackout on an act of "sabotage" by the United States at the Guri hydroelectric dam, but experts say it is the outcome of years of underinvestment.

At least 15 patients with advanced kidney disease were reported to have died since the massive power outage began on Thursday, as hospitals struggled to provide emergency services and the threat of spoiling food supplies put many on edge.

Businesses remained shut, and public transport barely functioned.

The 35-year-old Guaido, the head of Venezuela's National Assembly, earlier told thousands of supporters that he would soon embark on a nationwide listening tour before leading a march on the capital. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted the following warning, "No food". Maduro, who counts Russian Federation and Cuba as allies, says Mr. Guaido is a collaborator in a USA coup plot.

He is now recognised as interim President for more than 50 countries.

Washington views Guaido as Venezuela's legitimate leader and has imposed sanctions on the country's oil sector and announced asset freezes and visa bans targeting top government officials.

Asked whether India had agreed to stop buying oil from Maduro's government, Abrams said: "I don't want to characterize the discussions, which continue".

Several hundred people gathered at the rally in central Caracas for a march to denounce the crippling US oil sanctions aimed at cutting off the Maduro government's funding sources.

As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. "We will never surrender!"

"You have to pay in dollars and it's so expensive for us", Mr. Gutierrez said.

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Both the pro-Guaido and the pro-Maduro rallies ended without major incident.

Venezuela is already struggling with hyperinflation and shortages of food and medicine. University student Juan Gutierrez said Sunday lunch for his family cost $20, a small fortune in a country where the monthly minimum wage that most people earn amounts to less than $6.

Air Europa responded to the attack by ordering the crews of flights to Venezuela to not spend the night in the country, according to the union.

"If I could, I would take the little that I have and leave the country", said Renee Martinez, a Caracas resident.

While global analysts argue that the power outage was caused by issues with the country's poorly maintained infrastructure, President Nicolas Maduro on Saturday blamed the situation on cyberattacks.

Critics blame the government for failing to invest in maintaining the power grid.

At hospitals, the lack of power combined with the absence or poor performance of backup generators led to the death of 17 patients across the country, non-governmental organisation Doctors for Health said on Saturday. Caracas subway is down.

Francisco Valencia, the group's director, said some 10,200 people were at risk because dialysis units had switched off.

"The situation of people with kidney failure is very hard, critical, we are talking about 95 percent of dialysis units, which today likely hit 100 percent, are paralyzed, due to the power outage", Mr Valencia added.

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