Maduro oversaw the start of a nationwide military exercise today called the Campaña Libertadora Simón Bolívar 2019 [Simon Bolivar 2019 Liberation Campaign] at an event at the Ministry of Defense in Caracas. During the event, Maduro announced that the exercise would continue until July 28.

Speaking during the televised event, Maduro said that the government was working towards acquiring “armaments” that he claims the country needs to defend itself, and spoke on the importance of the exercise by saying:

[The exercise is needed] so that we can tone the muscles of Venezuela’s military defense.

On the nature of the exercise, Maduro said:

This is an integrated, combined and joined exercise where one million combatants are perfectly planned and deployed [sic].

Maduro’s use of the term “combatants” (combatientes) likely includes not only active duty soldiers with the National Bolivarian Armed Forces, but also reservists and civilian militia.

Maduro also spoke on the blackout that affected most of the country on Monday, and repeated the unsubstantiated claim that it was the result of an “electromagnetic” attack. Maduro said:

We suffered an electromagnetic attack of high caliber. It’s not the first time, only that this time the enemies of the homeland were able to disconnect the system, but now we’re in the stabilization phase.

As in previous occassions, Maduro did not provide any evidence for his claim, and it is not yet clear who exactly carried out this attack, how, or where.

Monday’s blackout was the fourth one this year to knock out power to most of the country.

For a full video of today’s event, click here.

Monday’s Blackout Caused by Total Failure at Bajo Caroni

El Universal is reporting this afternoon that Monday’s nationwide blackout occurred when, at 4:40 PM, all of the hydroelectric turbines at the Bajo Caroni station went offline. According to the newspaper, the units were generating 6,530 MW of power at the time of the incident.

According to the newspaper, the failure at Bajo Caroni caused a “cascade effect” of failures in the country’s power grid that ended up knocking out virtually the whole country.

Former Governor Arrested in Costa Rica Over Torture Allegations

Eduardo Manuitt, the former governor of Guarico state, was arrested in Costa Rica today over allegations that he and four other individuals tortured some of their employees at a dairy farm.

According to Costa Rican authorities, Manuitt co-owns a dairy farm in the municipality of Coronado with four other individuals. The authorities claim that back in April, someone stole cows from the farm. In response, Manuitt and the four other co-owners allegedly “tied up, abused and tortured several of their workers” in an apparent attempt to extract information from them regarding the perpetrator(s) of the cow theft.

The Costa Rican authorities claim that the workers were subjected to torture during time spans ranging from three to fifteen hours

Manuitt was the governor of Guarico state from 1999 to 2008. He joined the PSUV in 2007, and went into hiding in 2009 after an warrant was issued for his arrest over allegations of corruption.

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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