Venezuelan hospitals struggle to tend patients without power

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The messages include direct calls to the military institution's high command to topple an elected government with more than 67 percent of the vote on May 20, 2018, the same strategy used as part of other destabilization actions.

Fernando (How-RAY-GEE) Jauregui, freelance journalist based in Caracas, we appreciate you joining us and keeping us update.

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Maduro has blamed "imperialism" for the country's accumulating woes, and claims the power outage was caused by an electromagnetic attack on the Guri hydroelectric complex, which supplies 80 percent of Venezuela's electricity.

"The national electrical system has been subject to multiple cyberattacks", Maduro wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

This first aggression was followed by others against the same target that, so far, made it hard to reconnect to the national grid the 18 states affected by the fall of the electro-energetic system and restore the supply once and for all in a stable and definitive manner.

Guaido meanwhile called for more street protests Monday to pressure Maduro to step down.

Some 56 countries have recognised Guaido as Venezuela's interim head of state, but Maduro retains the backing of Russian Federation and China as well as control of state institutions including the military.

Venezuela plunges into darkness as state powers lock horns
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro attends a rally in support of his government in Caracas. Miraflores Palace Handout via REUTERS

Muscat: Over a dozen Venezuelan states went dark as power outages hit the country.

The blackout is one of the worst and longest in recent memory in Venezuela, which is already suffering from shortages of food and medicine due to the overarching economic crisis.

The blackout has left food rotting in refrigerators, hospitals have struggled to keep equipment operating, and people have clustered on the streets of Caracas to pick up patchy telephone signals to reach relatives overseas.

"This has been terrible", said Sol Dos Santos, a 22-year-old, whose daughter is hospitalized. Many were asking customers to pay in United States dollar bills, since debit card payment systems were not working reliably and local bolivar notes have been scarce for years. The Sepla union said two pilots and eight more crew members of a flight from Madrid were assaulted on Saturday while going from the airport to their hotel in the Venezuelan capital.

Some hospitals have cared for their most critically ill patients with the help of generators, but many have had to operate without power since the blackouts started Thursday afternoon, endangering vulnerable patients who rely on oxygen concentrators, dialysis machines and other equipment.

Addressing supporters in southwestern Caracas, he said Maduro's government "has no way to solve the electricity crisis that they themselves created".

At a competing march organized by the Socialist Party to protest what it calls US imperialism, Maduro blamed the outages on "electromagnetic and cyber attacks directed from overseas by the empire". Families stood under the sun to buy potable water, which is unavailable for most residents whose homes do not have power.

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