Minister of Communication Jorge Rodriguez announced last night that the country would operate under a special schedule this week. Rodriguez referenced the “terrorist attack[s]” it claims are responsible for the collapse of Venezuela’s electrical grid in the tweet.
Below, Rodriguez’s tweet:
The Bolivarian government informs the people that, after Holy Week, and as part of the consolidation of the [SEN probably means “servicio electrico nacional”; national electrical service] in the face of the terrorist attack, a special schedule has been decided for the next 72 hours: Monday 22, Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24: officers will open until 2:00 PM, and schools will open from 7 AM until 12 PM.
The announcement is likely an indication that the Maduro regime fears that a return to work and school after last week’s Holy Week vacation might overload the fragile electrical system, which is still recovering from last month’s collapse.
Venezuela spent entire days in the dark during a series of five nationwide blackouts last month, the first of which occurred on March 7. The Maduro regime blamed an elaborate host of causes for the blackouts, including from “cybernetic” to “electromagnetic” attacks. The authorities have yet to provide any evidence to back up its claims that the electrical grid was brought down deliberately.
On the other hand, experts in the electrical energy field agree that the collapse of the grid is due to years of mismanagement and corruption, both of which have left the country’s electrical infrastructure in a state of decay.
Protesters Demand Better Control Over Red Cross Aid Distribution
A small group of protesters demonstrated outside of the Red Cross office in the La Candelaria neighbourhood of Caracas today, demanding that the organization do a better job at controlling the distribution of humanitarian aid in the country, and to hand out more aid.
The Red Cross began to distribute aid in Venezuela last week, after it announced in late March that the conditions existed for it to do its job in the country without interference from political actors.
However, the distribution of the aid has not gone perfectly smoothly. Lat week, a journalist named Frank Thomas was detained for several hours by officers from the National Bolviarian Police while he was interviewing a woman outside of the Red Cross office who said that she had seen police officers taking some of the aid away, presumably to sell or distribute somewhere else.
Below, images of the protest:
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