Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro announced the implementation of a 30-day plan to ration electricity to curb the effects of power outages that have crippled the country.
“I have approved a 30-day plan to regulate the [electricity] output,” Maduro said as the country experienced its fourth major power outage in the month of March.
Maduro blamed Washington and the Opposition for the blackout and referred to it as a “terrorist attack against the electricity system”. Maduro claimed that the Trump administration is behind the series of attacks.
The embattled President said that hackers from Houston and Chicago unleashed a virus that attacked Venezuela’s electrical system. Maduro did not present any proof of his theories only referring to the blackout as a result of an “electromagnetic attack”.
“We’re confronting monsters who want to destroy Venezuela,” said Maduro, who said the electricity rationing would balance generation and transmission with consumption, which will ensure water supply.
He also urged people not to rally or participate in guarimbas, setting up blockades, setting things on fire or throwing rocks at police.
“Say no to guarimba! Say no to fires! Say no to violence!” he exclaimed.
He encouraged “colectivos” and other pro-government groups across the country “to defend the peace of every barrio, of every block” to keep order as Venezuela grapples with the blackouts caused by U.S led sabotage.
“They will not take away our peace,” Maduro vowed.
Venezuela’s Communication Minister Jorge Rodriguez said that public and private sector workers would stop working at 2pm on Monday, while students will be given another day off while network repair is being done.
Meanwhile, the opposition leader of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó tweeted the following message on social media:
“There is no sabotage. They brought the electrical system to a collapse because they are corrupt and now they can’t resolve it because they are incapable.”
Prior to Maduro’s speech, people took to the streets to protest in response to Guaido’s call to demonstrate against the government’s failure to provide basic services. They banged pots and shout curses against Maduro. Protesters also burned rubbish and blocked roads.