The Corporacion Electrica Nacional [National Electric Corporation] (CORPOELEC) confirmed today that a system failure near the town of Colonia Tovar in Aragua state caused blackouts throughout the country today.
Colonia Tovar, El Jarillo and La Troja were all left without electricity today, while areas of Caracas lost power starting last night. The affected areas in Caracas include Altamira, Bello Campo, Country Club, La Castellaneta, La Floresta and Palos Grandes.
Yesterday, former Minister of Energy Victor Poleo said in an interview that the country’s electrical system was the victim of a $17 billion “fraud” that saw money that was supposed to be invested in infrastructure and other projects diverted to private pockets.
Poleo also criticized the national government for putting politics ahead of common sense by appointing individuals with little engineering knowledge to work and operate the country’s grid. Poleo said:
This crisis was caused largely because in order to operate an electrical system you need engineers and skill. By putting military officers and non-professionals [to work at CORPOELEC], you’re causing the system to break.
Zulia’s Medical System “Collapsed”
The head of the Colego de Medicos del Zulia [Zulia Medical College], Daniel Parra, said today that the lack of medicine and basic medical services in the state has ruined the state’s hospitals and clinics. Parra said that aside from lacking even the most basic medical necessities, the state’s hospitals also have to contend with blackouts.
Parra explained that the situation in public hospitals is dire:
We have operating rooms that are closed. The electrical failures have burned out air conditioning units.
He also explained that the state’s private health centres are also suffering:
Five-star clinics have had to suspend even important services, as is cardiovascular [care]. The government has to put an end to this.
CICPC Looks for Otero in El Nacional Headquarters
Officers from the CICPC [the country’s investigative police] searched the El Nacional headquarters in Caracas yesterday evening for its president and editor, Miguel Otero. The officers conducted the search on a court order issued on Tuesday, calling for Otero’s detention, along with 12 other individuals. The order was issued in response to a lawsuit filed by Diosdado Cabello against the heads of some of the nation’s media.
Otero, who is not in Venezuela, took to Twitter last night to speak on the event, saying:
Diosdado Cabello has said on his show that I’m outside the country. So, why did they go looking for me if I know I’m not in the country?
Otero believes that the officers presented themselves at the newspaper’s headquarters and looked around “to frighten” and harass the newspaper’s staff.
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