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
“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