A massive power outage is currently affecting most of Venezuela, with as much as 94% of the country being affected.
According to Netblocks, an NGO that tracks disruptions to internet service, “almost all” of Venezuela is being impacted by the blackout, the cause of which has yet to be announced:
According to El Nacional, at least 20 of Venezuela’s 24 states (plus the Capital District of Caracas) are being affected by the outage.
As of the writing of this update, CORPOELEC–the state-owned national electrical utility company–has yet to make a public statement about the outage.
Gov’t Blames “Electromagnetic Attack” For Blackout
In an audio statement, Minister of Communication Jorge Rodriguez said that an initial investigation had determined that today’s blackout was caused by an “electromagnetic attack”.
The statement came approximately two and a half hours after the start of the blackout.
Below, a link to the audio message along with my translation:
Rodriguez: The Bolivarian government of Venezuela wishes to announce that today at 4:45 PM there was a disruption to the delivery of electrical energy in the country. The first indications from the investigation in the Lower Caroni suggest that there was an electromagnetic attack that sought to disrupt the hydroelectric production in Guayana, which is the main provider [of electricity] in the country. Fortunately, and after the aggression from March and April of this year, the Bolivarian government has implemented mechanisms of security and protection that allow us to state that we are in the process of restoring electrical power in the short term. At the same time, we have activated the contingency mechanisms for supplying potable water, emergency services and any other contingency needed in our health centres.
We also announce that we have ordered the deployment of security services to guarantee the peace and calm of the whole country.
Those who have attacked through all means available the noble people of Venezuela will once again know the courage that the sons and daughters of our liberator, Simon Bolivar, have shown time and again. We will be victorious.
Back during the March blackouts, the Maduro regime blamed the blackouts on a host of causes, ranging from electromagnetic to cybernetic to physical attacks against electrical infrastructure in the country. The government never provided any evidence for its claims.
Panama Joins International Contact Group on Venezuela
The International Contact Group on Venezuela (ICG) announced today that Panama had joined it in its efforts to seek out a peaceful and democratic solution to the crisis in Venezuela.
According to the ICG, Panama’s decision to join are “further evidence of a growing international consensus” that the Venezuelan crisis must be resolved through free and transparent presidential elections in order to guarantee a peaceful transition away from the Maduro regime.
A statement posted on the ICG’s website reads:
The Members of the International Contact Group (ICG) on Venezuela are pleased to inform that they have accepted the request of the Republic of Panama to join the ICG. They welcome Panama’s commitment to contribute to a peaceful and democratic solution to the crisis in Venezuela and look forward to the positive role this country will play as part of the ICG’s efforts.
They view Panama’s decision to join the Contact Group as further evidence of a growing international consensus around the need for a peaceful solution, including the organisation of free and transparent Presidential elections, as the only way out of the worsening political, economic and humanitarian crisis that has been besetting Venezuela and whose effects are affecting many countries in the region.
The ICG operates out of the European Union’s External Action Service, and is made up of the following entities: Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Panama, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Uruguay.
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