News Column

Venezuela Left in Dark

September 4, 2013

Government officials said a failure in a transmission line in Venezuela led to blackouts across much of the country.

Electricity outages occurred in 11 of the country's 23 states early Tuesday afternoon, mainly in the central and western regions, as well as the capital city of Caracas, the Electricity Development Vice Minister Franco Silva said.

The outages affected about half of the country.

The blackouts hit several refining and production operations, and the outages also increased traffic, disrupted subway services and severed water supply, The Wall Street Journal said.

Five hours after the initial outage, electricity had been restored in several states, and most of the affected areas are now with power Wednesday, officials said.

President Nicolas Madura has blamed the outages on enemies of the government.

"It's evident that behind [the blackout] is the hand of those who want to weaken our country," Madura said in a Tweet.

Meanwhile, opposition leaders have argued that the blackouts are the result of mismanagement at state companies.

"The blackout today demonstrates one more time the terrible incapacity of this government," Venezuela opposition leader Henrique Capriles said on Twitter. "Now they'll come up with another story to try to cover up the failure."

Source: Copyright UPI 2013

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