A blackout knocked out power for approximately 80% of Caracas this morning, paralyzing the capital for much of the morning as subway service and the mobile network ground to a halt.
Minister of Electrical Energy Luis Motta Dominguez announced through his Twitter account that the blackout was the result of a failure at the Santa Teresa substation, which is located some 30 kilometers southeast of the city.
There were reports all throughout the morning from social media users that sections of Miranda and Vargas states were also affected by the blackout.
At 9:35 AM, approximately five minutes after the start of the blackout, Motta Dominguez tweeted:
There is an electrical service disruption at this moment affecting 80% of Caracas. The failure originated in Santa Teresa. Work is being done to restore service…
Service began to be restored starting at around 10:45 AM, a fact with Motta Dominguez announced in the following manner:
Comrades! We’ve now restored service to 90% of Caracas, we continue to work to restore it 100%. There are reports of heavy rains in the area where the origin of the failure is located.
The blackout paralyzed Caracas, as subway stations plunged into darkness and the mobile cellular network went offline.
The video below was recorded by an individual as they were making their way out of darkened Capitolio subway station:
The video below shows more of the darkened station:
The images below show passengers abandoning a stalled subway train that was caught by the blackout between the Ruiz Pienda and Las Adjuntas subway stations:
The images below show another set of passengers, these ones having just abandoned their train while it was still inside a tunnel. The tweet claims that the passengers had to walk more than 1 kilometer through the darkened tunnel to reach the closest station:
Starting at approximately 1:00 PM, social media users began to report that sections of the city were once again without power. It is not clear at this time how widespread the afternoon blackout was, or if it was related to the failure at the Santa Teresa substation that caused the morning blackout.
In the late afternoon, Motta Dominguez tweeted the suggestion that the blackout had been an act of sabotage. He said:
Comrades according to the report sent to the SEBIN [the regime’s political police], the initial [power] failure in Caracas, originated due to the cutting of control cables of the [high] voltage transformers… 1/2
… This makes the safeguards “interpret” that there has been a failure, they go off and stay blocked.. They’re repairing the cables now 2/2
The Maduro regime–and Motta Dominguez in particular–often blame the country’s woes on acts of sabotage from internal and foreign enemies.
Constituent Assembly Readies for 1st Anniversary
Maduro’s Constituent Assembly will mark its first anniversary this coming Friday as the most powerful entity in the country, ruling with powers beyond those of the legislature and–at least nominally–the Supreme Court and Maduro.
The Constituent Assembly was the result of a highly controversial election held by the Maduro regime on July 30 of last year. On that day, tens of thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets of the country to protest the vote, since it was widely viewed as a naked attempt by Maduro to undermine the National Assembly–the country’s legislature–and consolidate legislative power into his office.
The protests that day left at least 15 people dead.
Three days after the election, the company that provided the voting machines for the vote issued an unprecedented statement confirming allegations by opposition and independent observers that the regime had falsified the result of the election.
According to Venezuelan law, the Constituent Assembly is tasked with drafting a new constitution for the country. Until its task is completed, the Constituent Assembly has the power to rule unchallenged, even by Supreme Court.
To date, the Constituent Assembly has not begun its work on creating a new constitution, and has instead devoted its time to act as a pseudo-legislature that is fully under the control of the ruling PSUV party.
According to El Nacional, while the law dictates that the Constituent Assembly can only convene for two years, it could extend its lifetime for another two years. That assertion came from Constituent Assembly president Diosdado Cabello, who said today:
Let the Constituent Assembly keep working whatever time we have left to work, be that one year, two years, three years, or four years…
Cabello also hinted that the Constituent Assembly’s work was far from over. He said that while the body had successfully “achieved peace” for Venezuela, there were still other issues to tackle. He said:
… now we have to battle inflation and speculation.
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