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EFE - VENEZUELA CRISIS - Venezuelan capital struck by power cuts amid protests

Caracas, Mar 18 (EFE).- Parts of the Venezuelan capital experienced power cuts Monday amid protests by residents of some neighborhoods who say they are still waiting for electricity and water service to be restored following the nationwide blackout of March 7-12.

Also affected were the towns of Guarenas and Guatire, near Caracas.

State-run utility Corpoelec said on Twitter that substations in Guarenas and Guatire were "affected by power fluctuations" on the lines carrying electricity to the capital area from Carupano, in the northeastern state of Sucre.

Efforts were under way to address the problem, Corpoelec said.

The new outages occurred as residents of the east Caracas neighborhood of Palo Verde said that they have been without power and running water for nearly two weeks.

The former mayor of the Sucre district, which includes Palo Verde, spoke out about the situation on Twitter.

"People of Palo Verde ... have not had LIGHT or WATER for 12 consecutive days. They are 200 families affected since the day of the mega-blackout," Carlos Ocariz wrote.

Protesters in Palo Verde told EFE that the extended outage had caused food to spoil and damaged household appliances.

"Since there was the general blackout in all of Venezuela ... we are without light. This is exceedingly serious because we have older people, sick people," attorney Reina Rodriguez Montilla, 52, said.

Palo Verde also remains without running water, she said.

In Los Chorros, another area in Sucre, residents say they have not had water service for more than 50 days and that their written complaints to the Sucre municipal administration and public utility Hidrocapital have been ignored.

Oil-rich Venezuela is suffering from a combination of hyperinflation, shortages and breakdowns of public services such as water, gas, electricity and transportation.

Problems with the power and water systems have been common for some time and opponents of President Nicolas Maduro's leftist government blame managerial incompetence and a lack of proper maintenance.

Maduro, meanwhile, attributed the recent massive blackout to sabotage by the opposition and its patrons in the United States, though without providing evidence to back up the allegation.

Venezuela's chronic political crisis entered an acute phase on Jan. 23, when the speaker of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, Juan Guaido, proclaimed himself acting president.

Washington rushed to recognize Guaido and nearly 50 other nations followed suit. China, Russia and India are among the dozens of countries that continue to support Maduro.


EFE-EPA Multimedia Desk, Madrid
+34 913 467 493

Agency : EFE

Date : 2019-03-19 08:58:21


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