Venezuelan Blackout Claims 21 Lives, Opposition Leaders Blame Maduro Regime
Venezuela was thrown into darkness over the weekend as power failed across the South American government. Power went out abruptly on Thursday night leading to chaos and desperation in a country already facing a prolonged and debilitating crisis. The blackout worsened the already troubled mess gripping Venezuela. So far, 21 people have died because of the blackout according to opposition leaders.
Power outages have left Venezuela crippled since they were first reported on Thursday afternoon.
Venezuelans continue to flee the failing South American country with no hope for a future in their homeland. Some parts of Venezuela have been without power for almost five days. The power outage is the last straw for some Venezuelans who have been holding out for Venezuela’s success and President Nicolás Maduro’s inevitable defeat.
The power outage has
devatasted the already strained and failing healtchare system in Venezuela.
María Corina Machado, an outspoken member fo the opposition party, tweeted about the reality of what the power outage looks like for the vulnerable people in Venezuela.
“And the babies in incubators? And the patients in intensive care? And those who require dialysis today? And those who need to keep their chemotherapy medications in the refrigerator? You are responsible for these deaths,” Machado tweeted. “You will face justice.”
One video of a woman carrying her 22-pound 19-year-old daughter’s body is showing the human toll the crisis and political struggle is causing in Venezuela.
According to Daily Mail, Elizabeth Díaz watched her daughter die in her arms during the power outage. The daughter was suffering from cerebral paralysis and severe malnourishment when she fell ill on Saturday. Despite going to two different medical facilities, Díaz was turned away by medical professionals due to the power outage and walked to a local morgue. Her daughter’s body is still in the morgue since she can’t afford a burial for her daughter.
Venezuelans living abroad has tweeted the impact the power outage has had on their family’s lives.
The Venezuelan blackout is being blamed on mismanagement and corruption within the Maduro regime that has crippled the Venezuelan economy. Venezuelans have taken to the streets in recent years demanding that Maduro step down as the country’s president but he has refused to let go of power.
Maduro and his government officials are blaming the blackout on an orchestrated cyber attack led by the U.S. government and the opposition.
“The power outage and the devastation hurting ordinary Venezuelans is not because of the USA,” tweeted Mike Pompeo, the Secretart of State, in response to Maduro’s claims of U.S. interference. “It’s not because of Colombia. It’s not Ecuador or Brazil, Europe or anywhere else. Power shortages and starvation are the result of the Maduro regime’s incompetence.”
Doctors are working in the dark to help patients in need during the blackout.
The Venezuelan government has not given citizens nor the international community an indication of how long the power will remain out in the country. Videos of women giving birth in dark hospitals throughout the country are being shared on social media.
There are reports that newborn babies and vulnerable patients are dying in hospitals in Venezuela due to the lack of power.
The blackout was reportedly caused by a failure at the San Geronimo B substation.
San Geronimo B produces 80 percent of the electrical power for Venezuela and the substation has been down since Thursday. There is no idea when the substation will be back online. Employees are the substation were sent home indefinitely as the country stayed dark throughout the weekend.
President Nicolás Maduro is claiming that the government is fighting to get the elctical system back online.
“We continue to wage a strong battle to free the National Electrical System,” Maduro tweeted. “Progressively, we are working to prevent and protect the system from attacks intending to block the reconnection. With hard work, love, and resistance, we will overcome.”
Interim President Juan Guaidó took to Twitter to share is concern about the ongoing crisis.
“Without light, water, food, the desperation can lead people to a limited state of taking sustenance for themselves,” Guaidó tweeted. “The reports coming out of various cities are consistent of the usurping regime continues to impede on the solution of the crisis.”
There is no end in sight, according to some experts, and the world waits to see if Venezuela will find their way out of this power crisis.