An electrical outage left much of Venezuela without power, which state-owned electricity operator CORPOELEC blamed on a “power war” against the nation on Twitter, Venezuelan media reported late Thursday.
According to Venezuelan outlets, the electricity outage affected approximately 22 out of a total 23 states leaving much of Venezuela without power since late Thursday.
“The problem is one of the largest power outages in years,” according to media reports.
Local media outlet El Pitazo reported the outage appeared to be the result of a failure at the Simon Bolivar hydroelectric plant also known as the Guri Dam in the southern state of Bolivar.
The Guri Dam is one of the world’s largest hydroelectric stations and the main power supply to Venezuela’s electrical grid.
Venezuelan media reported electricity minister Luis Motta Dominguez as saying that it is “not an attack on the government. It is an attack on the people.”
Commenting on the blackout, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Twitter “the electric war announced and directed by U.S. imperialism against our people will be defeated.”
“Nothing and no one will be able to defeat the people of Bolivar and Chavez. Maximum unity of the patriots!” he added.
Maduro urged his supporters on Tuesday to attend “anti-imperialist” rallies on Saturday, March 9, the same day that the opposition will hold anti-government marches.
Venezuela has been rocked by protests since Jan. 10 when Maduro was sworn in for a second term following a vote boycotted by the opposition.
Tensions flared when opposition leader Guaido declared himself acting president on Jan. 23 — a move supported by the U.S. and many European and Latin American countries.
Russia, Turkey, China, Iran, Bolivia and Mexico have put their weight behind Maduro.
Writing By Gulsen Cagatay