The country of Venezuela is literally in the dark – its power grid failing in a devastated economy as an ongoing political power struggle rocks the nation.
It’s been five days since the city of Caracas went black, worsening an already devastating humanitarian crisis.
Food is scarce and no power means no refrigeration.
“We are very sad because our food is being spoiled, and we have to buy strategically,” said Marlen Viloria.
Local hospitals are running on generators. Venezuelan news reports devastation at hospitals and patients dying from lack of resources.
In Caracas, Darwin Contreras stands in line to collect water from the river mountain. He’s one of many.
“I have my family, my wife. I have to go out looking. I’m not here because I want to be,” he explained.
Opposition leader Juan Guaido claims 17 have died as a result of the blackouts. CBN News has not verified that number.
Guaido is placing the blame squarely at the feet of leader Nicolas Maduro who is still clinging to power and preventing humanitarian aid from reaching the Venezuelan people.
Now Guaido is urging the Venezuelan military to intervene. “High command – will you continue hiding the dictator when you know a viable solution is not possible with him?” Guaido charged.
But Maduro says the prolonged blackouts are the result of a US cyber attack. “The macabre strategy of this attack on the electrical system is to take our people to a level of despair,” Maduro accused.
El Sistema Eléctrico Nacional ha sido objeto de múltiples ataques cibernéticos que ocasionaron su caída y han impedido los intentos de reconexión nacional. Sin embargo, hacemos grandes esfuerzos para, en las próximas horas, restaurar el suministro de forma estable y definitiva. pic.twitter.com/C1dJGuWxSD
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) March 10, 2019
The socialist country has been in a downward economic spiral for years.
Venezuela’s national assembly voted Guaido the country’s leader claiming Maduro stole the recent elections.
Western nations, including the US, have recognized Guaido as the rightful interim president of Venezuela. But certain nations like Russia are supporting Maduro.
US National Security Advisor John Bolton believes the tide is turning for Guaido.
“Look, I think momentum is on Guaido’s side. Reports in the press that stress the military hasn’t shifted missed the point entirely,” Bolton told ABC This Week. “The point is that they have not sought to arrest Guaido and the National Assembly and the opposition. And I think one reason for that is that Maduro fears if he gave that order, it would not be obeyed.”
Last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted: “No food. No medicine. Now, no power. Next, no Maduro.”
No food. No medicine. Now, no power. Next, no Maduro.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) March 8, 2019
In the past, the US has stated all options were on the table when it comes to Venezuela, but so far there is no official word of US military intervention.